Brands Give Back This Holiday Season

Tis the season of holiday shopping. Across America, customers are storming malls in force, hoping to check items off on their holiday shopping lists at the best prices available.

But many shoppers are looking for something else in the gifts they are giving this year. According to a recent study by Cone Communications, 94% of consumers are likely to switch brands, about equal in price and quality, to one that supports a social issue. Cause marketing is no longer a nice-to-have for brands. Many are making it a central part of their marketing strategy this holiday season.

Whole Foods Market: While you’re placing an order for your Christmas turkey, you can also make a donation tothe “No Kid Hungry” campaign. Through this program, Share Our Strength works with youth organizations, food banks and other organizations to provide food to hungry children. For every dollar donated through their site, Whole Foods Market will match up to $25,000.

Toys R Us: The toy retailer has teamed up with the Marines Toys for Tots Foundation for over seven years. This year, Toys R Us takes it to a new level by introducing Shaq-a-Claus. Basketball star Shaquile O’Neal is this year’s spokesman for the campaign, which will continue to accept cash donations online and at the register through Christmas Eve.

Payless: This campaign aims to give shoes to children in need through local charities and organizations that serve those in need. Payless Gives has pledged to give away 50,000 shoes through December. Unlike many other campaigns, this program does not require customers to donate—it is funded by Payless.

Does a brand’s participation in a charity during the holidays change your perception? Are you more likely to shop at stores like Whole Foods Market, Toys R Us, and Payless given their emphasis on charitable giving?