Wake Me Up Before You BOGO

As Americans we’re predisposed to see shopping as a way to lift our spirits, a retail therapy. Emotional branding capitalizes on this through retail theater. Yet in tough economic times, consumers are less and less likely to seek solace in stores, and are re-evaluating every purchase to prioritize what’s really important. In this context, your promotions must offer something of greater value than the satisfaction of material possession: happiness.

Here are some recommendations of what natural and organic brands need to do to flourish in a changing market environment:

1. Don’t Just Look Good, Do Good

A recent study published in Science magazine shows that people who spend money on others rather than themselves feel far happier. Savvy marketers recognize this as an opportunity to differentiate their brand and ditch the old BOGO (Buy One GET One) campaign in favor of Buy One GIVE One. TOMS Shoes became a sensation through their One For One campaign, promising that for every pair of shoes you buy, they will give a pair to someone in need. They’re worn by celebrities, recessionistas, and 140,000 children in need worldwide. TOMS Shoes led a wave of cause-related BOGO campaigns across many categories, from houses, cars, lipstick, and laptops to buy a book and plant a tree.

2. Make a Really Good Cup of Tea

One of our favorite BOGO success stories is Organic India Tulsi Tea. It’s another simple, benevolent proposition: With every cup of tea you enjoy, you get the added satisfaction of helping Organic India’s farming communities in India care for their children, provide health care for their neighbors, and live a sustainable life — organically. In telling the Organic India story on pack and in print, the brand has risen to become the #9 specialty tea brand in the natural channel.

3. Find Your BOGO

As a natural product brand, the desire to do good is central to your inception. The question is not whether your brand should support a cause, but WHICH cause you should choose. Of the many worthy groups, which one builds on your brand values and supports what you do?

4. Be an Angel, Save a Life

Practice what you preach. Our favorite cause is a great fit for natural brands: Vitamin Angels provides vital micronutrients to children in need. Pure Branding was proud to be develop the recent promotional campaign for Vitamin Angels exclusively for the natural and organic industry with the goal to save 4 million children’s lives in 2010. To find out more about becoming a Vitamin Angel, contact Jessamyn Wead at 805-564-8400 or jwead@vitaminangels.org.