June 6, 2013

What Kombucha Dogs Have to Do with Your Labeling Strategy

What Kombucha Dogs Have to Do with Your Labeling Strategy

In our ongoing series exploring how to exploit consumer sentiment for the purpose of driving up sales, we will now delve into the topic of charities, and how philanthropic affiliations can earn your company sweet, sweet cash.

We’re only kidding, naturally (not really). However, it is a fact that customers like companies with heart. Be honest, if you were given a choice between a product that merely promised to give you the best value for money and a product that promised to donate a portion of the profits to a baby otter rescue fund, you’d buy the hell out of the baby otter product, wouldn’t you? Of course you would; you’re a gentle, caring human being.

Profit bundling helps boost product sales significantly, so if you’re going to use those baby otters to your benefit, it’s important to use your packaging and labeling space to clearly note your altruism. Some companies even dedicate most of the label to their charitable vision. Ever hear of the Kombucha Dog?

The Kombucha Dog

Kombucha, for those of you who don’t know, is the product Lindsay Lohan blamed for one of her many failed sobriety tests. It is also a fermented tea beverage that raw foodists hold dear to their hearts. Several years ago, a dog-lover, professional photographer and kombucha enthusiast decided to manufacture his own brand of kombucha with a picture of a homeless dog in need of a family on every label. Heart warming, huh?

The Kombucha Dog is an example of how product labeling real estate can not only be used to delineate your company’s brand in the corporate sense, but also to give potential customers an idea of your worldview. Every Kombucha Dog label features a different dog in need of a home. What better way to endear yourself (and your brand) to a legion of animal lovers?

Broaden Your Brand

Uniting your brand with a cause helps expose it to a wider variety of consumers than traditional marketing. People who are passionate about a cause tend to gather behind companies with similar philosophies. However, if your company manufactures a product that is very specific to a certain demographic (such as feminine hygiene products), you will be best served by using your package space to support a cause that your market will appreciate; if your company is affiliated with causes that are highly charged politically, you will only succeed in alienating a segment of your customer base by specifying that fact on your label. We’re not suggesting that you only support charities that provide elegant tie-ins for your product, just that there are certain causes that marry well with certain products. Joining Habitat for Humanity with hardware materials is good. Joining anti-obesity charities with premium ice cream, maybe not so much.

It’s also important that the support is genuine. Any indication of using altruism for personal gain will certainly be read as a dubious ploy.

Luxury Items, Plus Charity, Equals Less Guilt

People feel better about purchasing impulse or luxury items if a part of the profits go to a good cause. Some people might be on the fence about spending an absurd amount of money on an item that they don’t really need while there is so much deprivation in the world. However, if some of the money you spent goes to help deprived people, then all is well, in the grand scheme of things. You get a $700 pair of aviator sunglasses, and a Bulgarian child gets a new pair of shoes. Everybody wins!

So, to sum up: affiliating your product with a charity is a noble and righteous thing to do for the good of humanity as well as your revenue stream. It is important to tie an appropriate charity to your product in order to best serve both the charity and your brand. Finally, Lindsay Lohan was drinks nothing but kombucha as far as we’re concerned, and we defy her lawyers to prove we said any different.


by Kevin Smith
SmashBrand helps brands create, optimize, and launch successful products, services, and customer experiences. Our data-driven process is the key to accelerating sales and minimizing risks.

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