Consumer-Driven Initiatives: Marriage of Marketing and Philanthropy

    We ask them (our consumers) to choose the soda that is inline with their values.” -AnaMaria Irazabal, Director of Marketing for REFRESH, PepsiCo. Inc.

    AnaMaria Irazabal, Director of Marketing for REFRESH, PepsiCo, Inc. led an innovative philanthropic project that “refreshed” the concept of traditional corporate and foundation giving. Was it altruistic? Was it marketing? Was it a success?

    Her short answer: Yes!

    Her long answer:

    “When we developed the program, people asked me, ‘Are we trying to sell soda?’ Yes, we are trying to sell soda.When our consumers are at the supermarket deciding which soda they will purchase, we ask them to choose the soda that is inline with their values.”

    This merging of marketing and social investment is possible because of technology. A web-based platform has allowed the PepsiREFRESH project to leverage people’s consumer interests with their personal responsibility through a crowd-sourced philanthropy contest.

    To understand the reach of this effort, here are the numbers:

    • - 7,500 have been included in the voting

    • - 250 projects have received grants

    • - 200 communities have been affected

    • - 200,000 people have

    People are talking about these grants on a personal level and establishing and creating their own personal networks that is bringing people together. It is also positioning the PepsiCo. brand in front of these audiences in a very positive light.

    The Marketing Concept: Give power to the consumer! They want to have that power in their hands and to move their communities forward.

    Methodology: Pepsi just provided the tech platform. It seemed like losing control though it was more providing a broad canvas. Pepsi set the boundaries. Most positive, Pepsi does not say NO to the idea. the people decide. Pepsi also maintains an ongoing relationship with the grant recipients – it is not just a check.

    Craziest Submission: A pizza party for the entire city of San Francisco – though the goal was to bring the community together; which did grasp the spirit of the contest though in an unorthodox way.

    No specific numbers were provided to validate the bottom line benefit to this type of marketing though Pepsi does plan ton continue the project and extended the initiative with a special focus on Gulf projects

    Other interesting insight into “citizen-centered solutions” is a Case Foundation study.

    Re-published with permission by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce BCSC. Visit the original article.

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