It’s that time of year again. The changing leaves, delicious pumpkin spiced beverages, and Halloween festivities; the month of October is officially upon us. However, for many, October also signifies something more personal. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign focused on increasing awareness and funds for research into its cause, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, and cure. Established in 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness Month was founded when the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries partnered with a unified mission to promote, advocate, and educate. Since then, national organizations like Zeta Tau Alpha or Susan G. Komen have joined forces to strengthen this campaign. Even celebrities, including Serena Williams, have decided to use their platform for good. To increase popularity, a very powerful and recognizable brand concept was created, a single pink ribbon. Supporters of the ribbon or “pink brand” are members of a fast-growing niche market of socially cognizant consumers. A few notable examples include Reese Witherspoon, Gabrielle Union, and Elizabeth Hurley. In a recent study, the Shelton Group’s 2018 ‘Brands & Stands’ research revealed that 86% of consumer believe companies should take a stand on social issues. Needless to say, companies started thinking…..pink.
Every October, several big brands pay tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in their own unique way. Starbucks Indonesia released three limited edition pink drinks in honor of #PINKVOICE. Partnering with Lovepink Indonesia, this international campaign encourages honest conversations around breast cancer awareness and prevention. For consumers looking for wearable mementos, Stella Dot designed a Tribute bracelet to support the Bright Pink Foundation. Their mission is to inspire women to practice prevention at a younger age through health education. Men are also encouraged to participate in the advocacy and support. This year Vineyard Vines released a men’s pink ribbon crew neck shirt, with 30% of their proceeds also going to the Bright Pink Foundation. Recently, brands have become more creative when implementing targeting strategies. Partnerships with content curators on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are expanding the pink reach to a younger and digitally connected audience.
With an increasing number of brands going “pink,” consumers can customize their philanthropic experience. By allowing consumers to wear a cause on their sleeves, or sip it in their drinks, brands break through the everyday marketplace clutter while simultaneously supporting a cause near and dear to many. While orange may be the October standard, pink never goes out of style.