The fastest way to the ultimate competitive advantage
After 30 years in the advertising business, we finally took our own advice. After a wonderful run with some of the most prolific brands and companies in America, The Faulkner Group has narrowed its focus to the area of expertise we're most passionate about, in which we can truly, legitimately claim to be "best in the world."
The new company is named The Transformation Agency, to express our new focus: helping companies transform themselves and their customer base by establishing the most powerful competitive advantage: consumer trust. Of course, focusing on Trust is not a new idea, but nurturance of this invaluable asset is too often overlooked or back-burnered – even though it is the most enduring, most powerful competitive advantage of all.
Our approach to this objective is equally special. It’s a unique, patent-pending cause mechanism we call Cause Engineering.™
Marketing experts find Cause Engineering™ more powerful than an Oprah endorsement.
More than 30 years of research attest to the power of cause marketing. It reflects research by the world's largest advertising group, with supporting studies from MIT/Sloan and Harvard Business Review.
The finding: Brands that take stands for social causes are far more effective at affecting consumer brand preference than brands relying on traditional media advertising.
Cause engineering™ capitalizes on this and takes it to a totally different plane in a remarkable new, integrative way. What makes our patent-pending Cause Engineering™ approach so fundamentally different? We don't partner brands with existing charities. We create charities and engineer them to fit the sponsors.
Traditionally, most cause partnerships are ad hoc. Most charities’ missions have nothing to do with the products their corporate sponsors make. For example, consider BMW and Komen. BMW is a wonderful car, and Komen is a wonderful cause. But building the ultimate driving machine has nothing to do with curing breast cancer. In the consumer's mind, neither brand is fundamental to the other.
Instead, our approach is to custom create a charity from scratch. We engineer the cause in such a way that the products or expertise of the sponsors actually serve a critical role in the charity's ability to improve lives. (It is important we note that the brands or sponsors do not control or operate the charity.)
Because the sponsors' products are clearly integral with the charity's function, a sponsor in our model is not seen by the public as simply supporting a social cause. The brand wins the adoration and goodwill as if it were the cause itself. This transforms the way consumers view all of the brand's marketing messages. By "banking the marketing messages off the cause," we help a brand bypass all the typical mental screening mechanisms to access and unlock the most persuadable part of the subconscious mind.
The result is exponentially greater and more enduring consumer engagement.
Martin Lindstrom, in his groundbreaking neuromarketing research work Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, explains how brain pathways respond to a perfect alignment of sponsor, product, cause and context that this sort of approach can create. (His work earned him a place among TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2009.) Gary Singer, CEO of Buyology, Inc., says – specifically of our Cause Engineering™ approach – "it takes Martin's findings supersonic."
So, who called our Cause Engineering concept "more powerful than an Oprah endorsement," as noted above? That was Jim Sterne, Chairman of the Digital Analytics Association, a lecturer at Stanford, Oxford and MIT, and the world's foremost expert in social media valuations.
This is a BIG concept. And it grows even bigger...
Cause Engineering™ generates brand allegiance in powerful social allies.
In engineering the charity, we aim for a mass following rarely seen in any brand. It grows far beyond traditional charity or consumerism. The cause is designed to provide outcomes warranting participation and support from society’s most powerful institutions:
- Federal and local government
- The education system
- The news media
- The entertainment & arts industry
- The faith community
- The business community
These groups reach far beyond the supporters any charity possesses – they reach nearly the entire population. This is what gives our engineered charities an immediate following and base of support. Because the engineered cause creates such extraordinary benefits for everyone involved, and because these pillars of society have such influence over public opinion, everything that makes cause marketing so effective is amplified many times over with Cause Engineering™. Interest and passion jumps. The number of supportive people leaps. News coverage and social media confirm the cause’s legitimacy and frequency of exposure explodes to fever pitch.
And to affirm the legitimacy of such broadly held, enthusiastic confidence, our engineered charities also benefit from an inarguably genuine characteristic: The engineered charity passes 100% of all raised funds to the cause's beneficiaries.This creates the perfect trifecta of Trust, Influence and Effect. It's the ultimate "win-win-win."
Trust skyrockets, lives are improved, business goals achieved and social impacts made.
Because the cause is integral with the brand, the productive relationship will endure. And because it generates far greater return on investment, it can be sustained. This "engine of opportunity" makes it possible to continually improve lives and strengthen communities … all while building profits, brands and business in a profoundly trustworthy way.