Marketers and advertisers lose sleep over whether the brands they represent obtain maximum exposure, usually through the most creative tool-advertising. Indeed this has an important role to play within certain mediums, for certain campaigns. Here's another sponsorship opportunity: while Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is an instrument that has been in existence since the birth of public relations, many disregard its significance.
According to the TGISA 2006/2007 psychographic research tool, over 55% of the total urban market agrees that companies which are involved in sponsorship are viewed more favorably than those who do not. Furthermore, a large number always notice sponsors of events they are interested in and are inclined to purchase products of those corporations.
This proves that CSI is an important platform for brand recognition; association and reputational purposes and hence aid advertising in terms of exposure. Many companies choose to support charity organizations that the general public emotionally relates to such as HIV/ Aids and orphanage homes. Emotions control consumers
Emotional appeal works; it is the same reason advertising expresses different sentiments either happy or sad and many more to capture consumers' attention. Brands have transformed from "how does it taste" or "look on my behind" to "the feeling it brings when consuming it", hence Kelloggs' Special K feel good strategy, which works in terms of the target market.
While advertising ensures the benefits of a product, CSI in turn demonstrates its involvement within the environment, which is usually referred to as "giving back to the community". The concept is ideal for relationship building and maintenance between the brand and its consumers. This shall aid brand positioning in the headspace of the consumer, which might possibly lead to brand loyalty - an ultimate aspiration for any brand ambassador. CSI aids advertising
Visualize for a couple of seconds that your target market did not pay attention to the messages that you constantly drive (hypothetically speaking however, debatable), CSI is another tool to connect with them, emotionally and within their respective environments. Naomi Paul-Bütow of Market Tree Consultancy defines a brand as, "what they think it is however not what you say it is", which is in the case of a marketer and a consumer.
GreaterGood South Africa connects courses and givers, either corporate or individual with the aim to end poverty in the country. Over a thousand organisations have registered on the website and about R9.5 million has been raised for good causes. Here is their website: www.myggsa.co.za
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