Cause Marketing Projects

with a halo of good citizenship

Helping brands go from successful to significant
Engaging new audiences with relevant charitable action

Client: Search Dog Foundation

Official Online Store:

LM&S developed the official online store for the Search Dog Foundation. As part of our end-to- end solution, we supported special project recognition for employee staff, stakeholders, volunteers, donors, SDF Handlers, and the military volunteers.

LM&S provided a web-based solution, which allowed special users groups, and special purchases in bulk for SDF staff to recognize various stakeholder groups. For notable special events and milestones, we provided recognition products, including apparel, thank-you gifts, pins, awards and more.

LM&S developed custom official logo’d branded merchandise in apparel, accessories, and gifts. We did the website design, shopping cart integration and functionality, training, category planning, product photography, and product development.

LM&S also handled administration including order fulfillment, customer service, reporting, administration, marketing, and all the back-end duties. LM&S stocked, maintained inventory and handled all fulfillment. LM&S provided special recognition gifts and worked with SDF staff for fulfillment.

Overall, we were able to make the process of developing and maintaining the online store as easy and as fluid as possible. Customers were satisfied with the services provided which led to better donor support and long-term growth for the non-profit organization. We also maintained a 99% delivery rate with less than 2% customer returns.

Client: Search Dog Foundation

Connecting a Relevant Product to a Noble Charity

As part of our strategy to create an ongoing new income stream of non-philanthropic revenue for the Search Dog Foundation, we developed a line of  Canine Supplements – officially endorsed by The Search Dog Foundation and used by America’s Search Dog Handlers. We worked with a qualified private label manufacturer and chose their best-selling tablets and powders at a low minimum quantity for our initial production run.

Create a consumer product that reflected charity and purpose. We settled on a dog supplement after our research showed growth in pet neutraceuticals – especially as our country is aging and so are our pets.

Our main task was to create an emotional connection with consumers who care about their dog’s health and would be inspired to help their community by supporting local emergency response (firefighters tested very positive in nobility to consumers). Our mission was to convey brand differentiation tying the charity to the product in a seamless way that resonates with purpose and patriotism.

We came up with the slogan: “Good for your Dog. Good for our Country.” I wanted to tie the wellness theme in a content story angle in this brand that highlighted good things that SDF did in strengthening our country’s Emergency Response Network in its life-saving mission. But also it was critical we keep that wellness theme within the features and benefits that the supplements provided in sustaining good health for dogs.

We used the heroic image of a firefighter and dog on all content including the packaging labels. With the help of a respected contract manufacturer and private label company specializing in dog supplements, we developed a line of four key SearchDogsUSA® Canine Supplements – Skin & Coat powder, Hip & Joint tablets, Digestive Enzyme probiotic powder, Multi-Vitamin tablet.

We priced them from $17.99 – $26.99 SRP and sold online at the official SDF online store and the Search Dog Foundation official Amazon storefront.

This cause marketing initiative took less than 7 months to bring to market and yielded a new income stream at over 85% ROI.

Client: Search Dog Foundation

Palatable for dogs & profitable for the charity

Founded as a for-profit corporation in 2002, SearchDogsUSA was set up as a licensing arm for the charity non-profit Search Dog Foundation with the idea to create revenue through products sales.

Create a product via private label that would be Good for Your Dog and Good for the Country. Communicate the charity mission in a simple effective way: Celebrate the patriotic and noble work of SDF.

Worked with manufacturer to develop product and promote it throughout all media

With the help of one of our alliance partners, we created a new label based on a best-selling dog joint supplement soft chew. Outstanding sales and acceptance from America’s heroic Search Dog teams throughout the country.

Nutro “Food for Heroes” Cause Marketing

Inspiring customers with a best-selling dog food brand charity tie-in

So we created a halo of good citizenship over our brand promise – a new content story that cut to the core of our brand. This case study is all about the effects that can impact both a brand and cause it supports. It’s the story of a new partnership with a relevant, purposeful charity that ties in perfectly into our brand story of Nutro’s best-selling dog food brand NATURAL CHOICE®.

The Search Dog Foundation mission is to rescue dogs, train them to save lives, and pair them with firefighters in service to America. SDF created the gold standard for highly-trained canine disaster search teams. They certify the largest number of FEMA Search Dogs nationwide . SDF Search Teams have rescued people during WTC 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Haiti Earthquake, Oklahoma City bombing.

Creating a tie-in of a premium global dog food brand with a relevant charity was the goal. This included a new contract agreement, endorsements, and a national cause-marketing campaign. A recommendation by SDF handlers, fire fighters and trainers was a key recipe for success. Search Dog Foundation helps Nutro give more with a partnership that enriches the NUTRO story, giving customers more reasons to love Nutro & seek us out in stores.

NATURAL CHOICE® is the Search Dog handlers’ food of choice. By connecting the brand to the charity we’d create a mutual win-win gaining “Ownership” of a National Cause and shared excellence as a common goal. The challenge was to entice consumers to develop a new type of relationship with Nutro & gain trial.

Working in conjunction with ad agency Ervin Bell and the internal marketing team and the SDF team, we created “Food For Heroes”. We focused efforts in several areas:

In-Store Rebate
This on shelf promotion ran nationally in over 3,000 Petco and PetSmart stores and other independent pet retailers. The offer keyed in on NATURAL CHOICE® dog food.

National Consumer Contest
“Vote for Your Favorite Search Team” generated thousands of votes nationally and added several thousand names to the company database – which exceeded well over 2 million names.

Print advertising
We ran a national campaign in specialty pet publications, recognition by SDF on website, newsletters, events, training materials, letter to their supporters. We sought to provide a meaningful dialogue aAbout how Nutro cares through its national sales and demo teams through Demo, retail POP, Website, PR, satellite media campaign (through agency Weber Shandwick), direct tie-in for NATURAL CHOICE® with strong messages on packaging & brochures.

Created 100+ million impressions with a 5% annual GSV lift of NATURAL CHOICE® dog food via Food For Heroes: largest cause-marketing campaign in company history with SearchDogsUSA and Search Dog Foundation. Directed ad, PR agencies and vendors. Managed national print advertising (secured 25% savings). Directed contest and satellite media tour with Celebrity Veterinarian, Dr. Marty Becker with a Search Dog Team – placements on Fox, CNN, and 80+ local news stations.

Nutro “We Care” Charity Strategy

Our company & brands were successful but were we significant? 

Companies attach themselves to social causes & issues in order to be perceived as an engaged participant in the world.

The core objective in supporting a cause is to deliver a genuine service to society. And in the process build value-based relationships with customers. Today, 90% of consumers say they would switch brands for a worthwhile cause. (Cone Co., 2007)

Figure out a faster and more efficient way to deal with the hundreds of charities we supported at various levels. Our goals included efforts to increase consumer awareness & trial of our core dog and cat food brands.

Our theme was “Helping Dogs Who Help People”. We focused efforts toward charities supporting: Assistance Dogs, Working Dogs, and Search & Rescue Dogs. Promotional mix consisted of creating kits, and then launching Ads, a new web link, PR, and direct mail.

Lowered donations/sponsorships program costs 20% YoY through branded “kits” and staff re-alignment to support tie-ins with hundreds of pet charities, rescues, and other organizations.

What’s your Cause Marketing story?

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