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Let's say you are searching for an appropriate cause that your brand can passionately and authentically support (i.e. it needs to be a fit with what you already stand for). The cause should also be one with which your women's market will identify. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Yep.. it is symbolized by a pink ribbon.

I am all for the pink ribbon, but it has almost become the default cause for any brand trying to reach women... and women have radar for the easy way out.

What happens if you go beyond the default cause, and find a much more perfect fit for your brand?

Here's a partnership that caught my eye: Newell Rubbermaid is aligning its personal care brand portfolio - which includes Goody and i

m - with health conscious female endurance athletes in their "Team StayPut" program. Part of their effort is the sponsorship of the Girls On The Run (GOTR) character development/running event series -- where they distribute samples and the Team StayPut crew of endurance athletes serve as mentors for the young girls who are participating.
Oddly enough, I read the press release about this partnership just moments after receiving an email from a friend here in Burlington announcing the opportunity to volunteer at our local GOTR race this weekend. That same friend had convinced me to volunteer last year, and that's where I picked up my own sample of the Goody brand "StayPut" hair tie. (I'm not sure the partnership between Newell Rubbermaid and GOTR was as thoroughly integrated last year.)
Anyway -
Why does this philanthropy/sponsorship program resonate with women? It celebrates the athlete in all of us and inspires us to stay healthy/fit. It also cuts to the chase with moms, in that it focuses on helping their kids learn better habits in an era that could at best be named "the opposite of fitness."
This Newell Rubbermaid connection with GOTR shows that they did research into how and why their products are used, where they fit into the lifestyles of their consumers, and what bigger issues might be related. They could easily have defaulted to the pink ribbon runs or walks, but instead the company narrowed their focus on a particular cause that more directly connects with what they do (keeping hair out of the faces of athletes, for one) with women and the future generation they most care about.
So, have you found the perfect fit cause for your brand?

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image of Andrea Learned
Andrea Learned is a noted author, blogger, and expert on gender-based consumer behavior. Her current focus is on sustainability from both the consumer and the organizational perspectives. Andrea contributes to the Huffington Post and provides sustainability-focused commentary for Vermont Public Radio.