Using social awareness to generate brand awareness

Today’s consumer demands more socially responsible behaviour from the brands they use than ever before.

They want to do business with companies that are making a difference in the world by giving back to the community.

Businesses are listening and increasingly directing brand awareness campaigns to appeal to the growing number of people wanting to play their part in changing the world.

Social awareness is a clear point of difference for many brands and a central communications pillar to engage socially savvy consumers. One way companies can deliver on this is through cause-based marketing.

Cause-based marketing allows the power of a cause to elevate the perception of a brand, product or initiative.

At Icon, we are fortunate to work with a leader in this field – the Scanlon Foundation. Its annual A Taste of Harmony campaign (see case study) has grown since it launched in 2009 to become a regular annual event in many of Australia’s most prominent work places. From Australia Post and Commonwealth Bank to Woolworths and YMCA, Australian brands are embracing the concept of harmony through diversity.

Next year, A Taste of Harmony will be held over two weeks, from March 20 to 31 2017. The Scanlon Foundation’s core values are to raise awareness of the benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace and create social cohesion in society. They’re encouraging companies to host an event at their workplace where employees can show their cultural backgrounds to colleagues and encourage discussions among staff about their cultural backgrounds.

A Taste of Harmony isn’t about raising money for the Scanlon Foundation, but used as a method to deliver the Scanlon Foundation’s key message of the social and economic benefits of cultural diversity to Australian companies.

That’s why PR plays a vital role in case based marketing. It’s responsible for how key brand messages are delivered to consumers.

In the lead up to the event, creative storytelling will be used to encourage participation and to deliver the Scanlon Foundation’s key messages and purpose.

Our work will see us deliver socially minded storytelling to deliver key Scanlon messages to the public in order to demonstrate an authentic connection between the brand (Scanlon Foundation) and the cause (A Taste of Harmony).

Another way to communicate the Taste of Harmony message is through brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are a clever way to engage and connect with a wider target audience. Ambassadors are used to deliver cause-based messages to their followers helping increase brand awareness of the event.

During the 2016 campaign, TV personality Jane Kennedy was able to leverage regular media interviews and opportunities to speak about A Taste of Harmony, significantly increasing our target audience reach.

As more and more companies show their brand’s social awareness, we can only assume cause-based marketing will continue to increase. It will be interesting to see the evolution of the marketing tool and the increase in companies partnering with not-for-profit associations to further deliver their key messaging and brand among socially minded consumers.