Editor’s Note: This post is part of a new series highlighting cause marketing campaigns from around the world called ‘Global Voices’ and brought to you by Your Public Interest Registry. We hope our team of international contributors will shed insights into cause marketing in their home country and inspire you to expand your own purpose-driven horizons.
With 2,500 stores, Boots is Britain’s largest pharmacy-led, health and beauty retailer. In line with its mission to help their customers to “look good, feel better”, the company has developed a highly successful partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support – a leading UK charity which provides practical, financial and emotional support to thousands of people affected by cancer.
Macmillan and Boots are working together to deliver a significant increase in information about cancer as well as awareness about the support that is available, making this available in a trusted high street environment, in the local community and online.
Initially launched as a three year partnership, this has quickly become one of the most admired charity/corporate relationships in the UK. It consistently delivers results across core areas and builds on progress year on year.
Results to Date:
Income – £8.6 million ($14.5 million USD) has been raised through customer and employee fundraising in four years. Boots employees have embraced the charity partnership and organised events in individual stores, or by joining stores across the country. A large proportion of this activity has taken place under an internal campaign called ‘Miles for Macmillan’, where Boots employees can travel however they choose, to raise funds for Macmillan. A recent challenge event to climb Mount Kilimanjaro has raised over £370, 000 ($624,000).
Additionally, customer fundraising has been delivered by selling distinctive countertop items in store and through seasonal sales promotions.
Reach – Customized training has been delivered to 1,800 Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists who now have the skills and information to help Boots customers who may want to know more about a cancer diagnosis. In 2013, further training was also rolled out to Boots’ No.7 beauty advisors who are now able to show customers cosmetic techniques to minimize some of the side effects of cancer treatment, such as the loss of eyebrows or eyelashes.
Macmillan’s information leaflets are prominently displayed in store, along with details about local support groups. The partnership is also featured on Boots’ home page and Facebook page (650,000+ likes).
Engagement – employee engagement is achieved through top down buy-in to the partnership within the company, from strategy development to fundraising and volunteering. Last year saw more than 1,000 Boots employees donate their time to volunteer in the community and across the country. Activities ranged from directly supporting cancer patients – helping out with domestic repairs or gardening to taking part in e-campaigning or organising events.
Clear Synergy = Clear Customer Communication
There is clear synergy between the aims and objectives of the organisations involved, which provides a strong rationale for the partnership. This can then be clearly communicated to customers, employees and shareholders. The strength of the partnership enables Boots to position CSR as central to their brand, whilst Macmillan benefits from the significant income, reach and broader engagement explored above.