Alongside the new-retro styles of fall 2012 like the modern geometric Prada and MiuMiu prints and the reinvented lady looks by Louis Vuitton and Valentino, Holt Renfrew’s latest cause marketing campaign is decidedly dated. Recently, Holt Renfrew and Missoni partnered to create a limited-edition, worldwide-exclusive plush bear and elephant that will support OrphanAid Africa. This cause marketing campaign is the equivalent of a 1988 Christian Lacroix pouf skirt because of its old-school playbook, lack of transparency and cause and consumer mismatch.
Alongside the new-retro styles of fall 2012 like the modern geometric Prada and MiuMiu prints and the reinvented lady looks by Louis Vuitton and Valentino, Holt Renfrew’s latest cause marketing campaign is decidedly dated. The old-school m.o. and lack of transparent details about the program made the song “You’re So 1988” play in my head, while fashion flashbacks of acid wash denim hitting the cover of Vogue provided the visual.
So what’s the scoop? Recently, Holt Renfrew and Missoni partnered to create a limited-edition, worldwide-exclusive plush bear and elephant that will support OrphanAid Africa. Their press release says that the bear and elephant, which will be sold at Holt Renfrew stores across Canada will “retail for $50 each” and that “purchases of the bear and elephant will help Holt Renfrew reach its goal of raising $100,000 for children and families through OrphanAid Africa.” In the press release, Alexandra Weston, Director of Brand Experience, states that: “At Holt Renfrew we love to offer the exceptional and this gift that gives back is exactly that.”
So what are the exceptional cause marketing style faux-pas?
This cause marketing campaign is the equivalent of a 1988 Christian Lacroix pouf skirt because of its:
So what could Holt Renfrew do differently to have their cause marketing to be less the big hair and shoulder pads of yester-year and more like the leather paneled and burgundy fashions au courant this autumn?
I think it would be really great for Holt Renfrew to introduce a simple cause marketing campaign that incorporates elements of customer choice and honours (yup, u included!) their Canadian origins. How about this: based on their total purchase, HR clients receive a printed or virtual charitable gift card that they can then redeem to make donations to their charities of choice? (Canadian causes, natch!) To further compel take up and to demonstrate corporate commitment, Holt Renfrew could create a few Canadian cause portfolios (e.g.: the Kids in Canada Cause that supports 5 great Canadian kids charities, the Power of the Purse Fund that supports 10 awesome charities that help women etc.), and perhaps even OrphanAid Africa, and match donations that customers make to these causes. A campaign like this could also easily be buttressed with a like-minded loyalty program (reward loyalty, which again will be key in the face of new customer-oriented American retailers that are on their way…).
People would connect the company, the brand and their purchase experience more directly and resonantly with giving back, HR would create a goodness-based excuse for some online interaction with their clients (notably absent in the e-commless world that is HR) and people like me would be providing raving accolades about their more than lip-service commitment to social action J
C’mon HR: Doing well by Doing Good is not a tag line…you need to execute!
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KEYWORDS: Fashion & Apparel, Human Resources, Marketing, Media & Communications, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, benevity, holt renfrew, cause marketing, cause marketing campaign, cause marketing faux-pas, customer engagement, csr, Community Investment, philanthropy, corporate philanthropy, customer choice, corporate matching, Social Action