Cause marketing is when a business aligns with a charity for mutual benefit. The best example of this type of cause marketing in recent history is Product(RED). Product(RED) partners with manufacturers to sell products with half of the sales going to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. To date, the “Red” campaign has raised over 170 million dollars for the Global fund . This concept encourages purchases with the added value of helping a good cause.
So how can this help Independent artists? The most simple way to use cause marketing for your music is by donating a small percentage of sales for certain shows and album releases to a charity. Also, the power of cause marketing is increased when a relevant or current problem is addressed. For example, 11 days after the Japanese Earthquake the major labels decided to work on a benefit album for Japan. Max Hole, Universal Group International COO, describes that they rushed to get “clearance and rights and . . . everything done for a March 24th release. This album reached the number five spot on the Billboard 200 shortly after its release. Tadateru Konoe, Japanese Red Cross President, responded to the incredible music sales in saying, “The kind thoughts of the people making this album and buying this album will . . . give great encouragement to the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami. On behalf of the people affected by this disaster, I sincerely thank the artists and music companies…” This is a perfect example of how charity can create music sales.
Another example of cause marketing for music products is the recent partnership between GoodWorks and MusiCares. The companies printed special apparel designed by artists such as Jack Johnson, Slipknot, Sugarland, Tim McGraw, and Sean Kingston. The profits will aid the MusiCares Foundation, which helps musicians with financial needs. This has been a successful campaign and you can still get the shirts at www.shopmusicares.com. Whether it is merch, music, or tickets, cause marketing can grow your sales.
For ideas, supporting music education is always relevant to music lovers and disaster relief charity is usually relevant to everyone.