Breast Cancer Awareness Month For Businesses: Who’s In It For The Right Reasons?

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breast cancerbreast cancer

It’s easy to slap a pink ribbon on anything; regardless of the intention, doing so gets the word out about Breast Cancer Awareness. This has been an incredible month filled with pink, which ultimately has instigated talk about breast cancer, as well as donations to breast cancer research.

Walk through any mall and you’ll see pink ribbons, in varying in sizes and locations, at least 10 times. One of the first things I learned at business school is the importance of corporate social responsibility. Companies shouldn’t just strive to make profits, they should strive to do so in a way that benefits society and the people who live in it.

There are companies that stick to great causes all 365 days of the year, not just on a specific day or month, and those companies should be rewarded for their dedication.

It’s been stated many times before that Millennials seem to just care more about this world and saving it for future generations. Standing up for important causes by sharing support and devotion to a cause is one way to accomplish this.

In the past week alone, I have seen the color pink everywhere, and it’s hard for me not to analyze why. Some seem sincere, like when the Color Run holds a giant pink paint party, but this is on a small scale compared to other companies.

Pura Vida Bracelets, for example, has a whole section for charity on its website, where a portion of each bracelet cost is donated to a specific charity. The site offers numerous pink bracelets for breast cancer, varying in donation rates for Boarding for Breast Cancer.

The beauty of it? Pura Vida Bracelets has always had bracelets designated for charity. The entire company is based on improving this world. The slogan states, “Every bracelet purchased helps provide full-time jobs for local artisans in Costa Rica. Pura Vida!”

I’m grateful that companies want to improve brand image and CSR by participating in awareness days/months, but the strategies have become quite predictable. If you really want to make a difference and reach thousands of people, do something life-changing.

Michael Kors’ Watch Hunger Stop campaign had people talking; celebrities, college students, hardworking CEOs and many others with social media outlets participated by donating 100 meals around the world for each selfless selfie. I can easily say that’s a company I would be proud to buy from.

As a consumer, think about which companies you support and what they really stand for. When it comes to different causes, it’s sometimes difficult to choose the company more socially aware when its quality or image isn’t up to par with competitors.

Don’t fool yourself into believing you are raising money for a cause without knowing the facts. Businesses can easily hold socially compelling campaigns, and advertise that proceeds will go to a specific cause/research, but how much of their marketing is actually accurate or helping?

Because every company is different, Breast Cancer Action suggests to ask these key questions:

“How much money goes towards breast cancer programs and services?”

“How are the funds being raised?”

“What types of programs are being supported?”

As any good thing, answering these questions requires research and time. Wouldn’t you feel morally right if you invested in a company that was supporting a cause through selfless means rather than a company that just wants a good image and a high profit? These are the decisions we have to make.

I challenge all businesses to leave their comfort zones and create attention-grabbing campaigns that encourage people to make a difference. Your size and existing image possess the potential to change the world.

I challenge all consumers to know what they’re buying and why in order to transform the market to a place where businesses can only compete if they make ethical decisions. I challenge consumers to create a world with less greed and more love.

Photo Courtesy: SF 49ers

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