Research Outline

Cause Marketing

Early Findings


You currently give 100% of your profits to charities focused on ending global poverty through nutrition and health training, but you are not marketing this. You are considering shifting your marketing efforts to highlight this fact and to brand your company as a social enterprise and you want to know the likely effect that will have on sales revenue. To do this, you want to see case studies of successful marketing campaigns that focused on generosity and giving back and you want to know how these efforts increased sales.


  • Companies that implement a corporate social responsibility program can expect an increase in revenue of up to 20%.
  • TOMS Shoes is donating a pair of shoes for every pair sold in its One for One initiative. The initiative reached over 64% of consumers, two-thirds of which said that they bought TOMS products because of the causes it supports.
  • Patagonia is appealing to its consumers to buy less of its products, to promote sustainability and reduce consumerism.
  • A year after Patagonia started its "reduce, repair, reuse, recycle" campaign sales increased nearly 33% to $543 million, and a year after that they jumped another 6%. In total, the campaign led to about $158 million more sales in the first two years.
  • As a result of its successful marketing efforts, Patagonia opened 40 stores globally in the four years after starting the campaign.
  • By switching to cause marketing, Patagonia also shifted its customer base somewhat. Patagonia is gaining customers that care about the environment. A 2017 study by YouGov found that 69% of Patagonia customers say they care deeply about where their products come from, 67% say they care about the environment and 54% try to buy Fairtrade products.


It appears that the information required to create the case studies exists in the public domain, so we suggest continuing this research by finding 4-6 case studies of companies that shifted their marketing efforts to cause marketing and that have re-branded their business as a social enterprise. For each case study, we will briefly describe their marketing efforts before and after the shift and we will describe the impact on sales of the campaign/initiative. (6 hours, $174)

Please note that we can provide 2-3 case studies in each 3-hour block of research, so you can adjust this scope by asking for a specific number of case studies.