As part of its plan for forge a corporate identity MillerCoors is investing big time in its social cause marketing program. The company released a 44 page report detailing the steps it has taken to reduce environmental impact by cutting back on water used during beer production, recycling brewery waste and reducing the amount of aluminum it uses in making cans. Similarly, another major corporation, Timberland, recently displayed its green side by introducing Earthkeepers 2.0. The boot is designed to be broken down and recycled when the consumer is done using it. The company encourages consumers to return the Earthkeeper to the store and lists specific percentages of parts that will be used to manufacture a new boot.
What's new about these tactics? Both companies are showing consumers how easy it is to be green by purchasing their products. Instead of making a broad statement about their commitment to being green or donating money to an environmentally-friendly organization, the firms' marketing materials provides access to real statistics and detailed data.
The return on investment for cause marketing can be difficult to measure. This is especially true when campaigns are about winning consumers for now and for the future. MillerCoors may be targeting younger consumers with its new report. This is a wise strategy as recent research shows that only 1 in 5 20–24 year olds maintains brand loyalty when it comes to drinking alcoholic beverages. By age 65, that figure jumps to 2 in 5 consumers.
Targeting Millennials with a 'green' message is also savvy. A Generate Insight survey revealed that 2/3's of the 18–29 year old segment of this demographic is willing to pay more for products that are made with the environment in mind. And sharing real-world statistics may be just what's needed to prove a company is serious about preserving the environment and increasing sales.[Sources: Sustainable Development Report, MillerCoors, June 2009 release; Timberland, June 2009 release; Gaudelli, Janis. The Greenest Generation, Ad Age, 4.29.09]