Giving By Buying

The professional beauty industry ended 2011 with a wave of generosity, spearheaded by product manufacturers who used their resources to benefit deserving causes. Recent examples include:

Éminence Organic Skin Care, which teamed with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society to raise nearly $20,000 to purchase food for the hungry;
• the experts at Ardell Lashes, who recently helped bring holiday joy to teenage cancer patients at a special Wish Upon a Teen event;
• and American International Industries, which, for the second year running, challenged its male employees to participate in a mustache-growing contest to raise awareness about prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.

The trend toward giving shows no sign of abating, in part due to the demand of consumers who prefer their hard-earned money to go where it does the most good. In one survey conducted by global PR firm Edelman, half of the more than 7,000 consumers who were asked said they were willing to pay more for a product if the money supports a good cause.

“We call it the rise of the ‘citizen consumer,’“ says Carol Cone, a managing director of Edelman Purpose, the “cause marketing” arm of Edelman. “Americans seek deeper involvement in social issues and expect brands and companies to provide various means of engagement.”

In the beauty industry, one need look no further than the active role companies and businesses take in October, now widely recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to see that this trend is—happily—here to stay. Estée Lauder led the way in breast cancer awareness efforts nearly two decades ago, and countless cosmetics and esthetics companies have since followed suit. The difference now? Consumers want to see year-round activity, proof that a company has an ongoing commitment to leave a positive legacy.

Related: Small Town, Big Heart | The Big Give | If Wishes Were Lashes