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Brands Deploy Pay-It-Forward Strategies To Capture Hearts & Sales During The Holiday Season

November 17, 2020 Sarah Cavill

During the holiday season, many brands amplify their feel good and charitable endeavors, and this year is no different. Several brands have embraced “pay it forward” strategies that offer ways for consumers to give back with every purchase, whether it’s to a friend or a charity. Brands that can elicit good feelings from consumers may encourage positive actions, including engagement and sales. 

Starbucks Partners With Uber Eats To Share Coffee And ‘Deliver It Forward’

Starbucks uber eats

Offering to buy the coffee for the next customer in line has long been a small act of kindness many people enjoy doing in the spirit of paying it forward and starting the day off on the right foot. The altruistic concept inspired Deliver It Forward, the latest activation from Starbucks. For Deliver It Forward, Starbucks is offering promo codes to customers who place their Starbucks orders with Uber Eats. The codes can be shared with up to 30 people, and give each of those lucky pals $10 off their next Starbucks order from Uber Eats. Deliver It Forward ends on November 22 and is limited to the first 100,000 customers. 

The holidays, otherwise known as Red Cup Season, are typically a very busy time for Starbucks, with Forbes noting that in 2019, “On Black Friday alone, Starbucks traffic rose 54.2%, compared with the average for the previous 12 months.” The pandemic is likely to impact business over the holidays for Starbucks, with less shoppers out and about stopping in to refuel. A campaign that makes people feel good and drives brand engagement, could lead to increased revenues during the critical period after Thanksgiving.

Green Goo Beauty Brand Combines Pay It Forward And Health And Wellness For Holiday Campaign

green goo

Over the course of the last year, a lot of lessons have been learned about what matters to consumers and what is necessary to stay healthy in 2020. Beauty and first aid brand Green Goo launched a holiday “pay it forward” advertising campaign that combines two of the standout strategies for brands from 2020: corporate social responsibility and wellness. According to a press release from the brand, “Each week for the next eight weeks, Green Goo will give away a $500 gift basket full of its all-natural products to a randomly selected winner, who will then choose an organization – a school, hospital, restaurant, fire department, shelter or other group – to receive a sizable allotment of the brand's FDA-compliant hand sanitizer.” The campaign is part of Green Goo’s Season of Goodness initiative that aims to give back to the community during difficult times. Other strategies the campaign is implementing include, “weekly product giveaways, customer contests, flash sales and charitable donations, in addition to shared stories, favorite recipes and inspirational anecdotes from the brand's team members.” Health and wellness has been a priority for many consumers over the last eight months, with many brands pivoting to digital strategies and seeing double-digit increases in sales.

Lifestyle Brand Feed Enlists Celebrity Friends To Promote Its Biggest Holiday Giving Campaign 

feed instagram

The brand purpose of lifestyle company Feed, founded in 2007 by Lauren Bush Lauren, is always to give back. Each time someone purchases an item from Feed, the brand donates a specific amount of money to giving partners around the world, providing nutritious meals to children in 63 countries. This year, Feed’s Give a Gift that Counts campaign is aiming to provide 300,000 meals during the holiday period, their biggest goal ever. The lofty goal was set due to the impacts of COVID-19 globally, particularly the increase in food insecurity. Feed has enlisted the help of several celebrities, including Martha Stewart and Nick Jonas, to promote the campaign. 

“When COVID hit, we really put our heads together and said, ‘Holiday's always a big time for us, but we want to do something really extra special,’” said Bush Lauren, 36. “And one way to do that is get great friends of FEED who are more recognizable to pitch in.... We're really excited that [the celebrities] are helping to curate shopping experiences on our site and helping bring the campaign to life.” The Give a Gift that Counts campaign rolled out across social media in early November, and Feed has already sold enough to get halfway to their goal of 300,000 meals.

The holiday season, especially this year, is likely to be a time when many people want to extend kindness and help in their communities, particularly as the pandemic continues to have mental health and economic ramifications. Consumers are four to six times more inclined to buy from and champion purpose-driven brands, and 94% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases from brands that make them feel good about themselves. Emotions are a powerful tool for advertisers, especially during trying times when people are looking for sources of inspiration, authenticity and positivity. Brands that can effectively leverage good feelings may reap the benefits.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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