To exercise their social responsibility and build more positive images, many companies are now linking themselves to worthwhile causes (p 84). Cause-related marketing has become a primary form of corporate giving. It lets companies "do well by doing good" by linking purchases of the company's product or services with fund-raising for worthwhile causes or charitable organizations. Companies now sponsor dozens of cause-related marketing campaigns each year. Many are backed by large budgets and full complement of marketing activities (p 85).
Product Red is a very good example of this concept. The Red idea "transforms our incredible collective power as consumers into a financial force to help others in need" (http://www.joinred.com/Learn/AboutRed/Idea.aspx). It fights to save people's lives in Africa by providing medical support to stop AIDS. There are 10 companies campaigning for this cause: American Express, Nike, Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Dell, Emporio Armani, Gap, Hallmark, and Starbucks. Every time consumers buy red products or use their red cards some amount of money will be donated to the cause. These companies benefit from choosing to participate in this mission by both exercising social responsibility and selling their products. This creates an added incentive to buy Red products by shaping this idea of doing the right thing through simply making a purchase.
Ekaterina Ogay, section G