Going Beyond the Pink Ribbon – Clever Ways Businesses Can Help.
The pink ribbons are showing up again. Look around and you’ll see them on the doors of businesses, the lapels of bankers and the back windows of minivans. Jacob Tyler Brand + Digital Agency has one on the front page of our website right now. Yes, it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and thankfully, people and businesses are showing their support.
Breast Cancer is downright ruthless. According to Breastcancer.org,
“About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”
Those are some sobering statistics and unfortunately many of us have known someone – spouse, sister, mother, friend, or partner – who has either survived or lost the fight to this non-discriminant foe. Several Jacob Tyler team members have family or friends who have been touched by this disease as well, including the mother of our founder, Les Kollegian, so this month is important to us on a personal level.
Keep it real
All this pink everywhere is nice but we all know that a pink ribbon doesn’t save lives any more than the shirt you’re wearing. “Pinkwashing” has become a problem over the last 10 years as companies release “pink-themed” products without donating a dime to research. Worse, they may sell pink products with carcinogens (certain make-up, products) that could actually contribute to cancer.
Wanting to do more at our agency, we researched what other businesses have done in the past to make a real impact and we discovered some pretty exciting and clever ideas.
Pink products worth shouting about
B2C companies have a real advantage in what they’re capable of doing since they can produce products specifically for the October awareness month. Forbes contributor, Deborah Sweeney listed a few fun examples in an article she wrote for their online magazine. Here are just a few.
Delta Airlines: Not only did Delta paint an entire airplane pink once, but when they achieved 50k Facebook likes for the painted aircraft, they donated $50,000 to the Breast Cancer Research fund. They also donated 10% of special “pink box” food purchases sold during in-flight service in October to the cause.
Panera Bread: Panera makes ribbon-shaped bagels and donates proceeds to The Breast Cancer Research. 1.3 million dollars reported and donated in 2012.
ONEHOPE Wine: 50% of the profits from the sales of their California Chardonnay get donated to breast cancer research during the month of October.
Little guys, big impact
Those are some cool ideas but what can smaller businesses do? Getting involved in the community that you serve is a great start.
Ready, set, go! Consider forming a team and raising money to run in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event in your area. Nearly every major city hosts this important 5k walk/run in the Fall (in San Diego it’s Sunday, November 6).
Hit the links. Host a golf tournament and add a percentage of money to the green fees to donate to Breast Cancer Research. Have a raffle associated with the tournament and see if other businesses in your area would consider donating items to help raise money.
Cash is king. Just cut a check, damn it! Your donation is tax deductible, worthy of good press, and green goes a lot further than pink when it comes to beating cancer!
How is your business participating in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Let us know.