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Triple Win: When the Pleasure Industry Gets Charitable, Everybody Benefits

The pleasure industry has always been about helping people to feel good, and today innovators are doing so in even more far-reaching ways. There is a constant stream of new products released, each designed to encourage users to feel better not only sexually, but also physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and/or socially. The feel-good effects of using these products cannot be overestimated. In fact, the use of high-quality adult toys can have positive, even life-changing outcomes both for singles and those in relationships, by improving self-esteem or sleep quality, relieving stress or pain, or assisting with other factors important to overall wellness.

These types of benefits occur primarily at the individual and interpersonal levels. However, momentum is now also building at another level. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers are using charitable initiatives to do social good that benefits future generations.

Supporting worthy causes in genuine and ongoing ways can help manufacturers, distributors and retailers appeal to a wider audience and encourage brand loyalty, all while doing social good.

Giving back, one box at a time

Sexual wellness is a necessity everyone deserves. However, true wellness requires a secure, sustainable world where people can thrive, now and into the future. Sustainability, in simple terms, is about meeting the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while balancing economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.

When we strive for a sustainable world, more people can safely explore sex and sexuality, and thus experience sexual wellness. Some members of the pleasure industry are helping to address this global issue, with plenty of consumer support.

Consider the following scenario: You’re trying to decide between two adult toys. They are virtually identical in terms of appearance, functions, materials and price. Neither brand is familiar to you. The most obvious difference is that one has a particular sticker on the box, which the other does not. It states that for each box featuring this sticker, the manufacturer will donate to a nonprofit organization that helps to break the cycle of hunger, poverty and environmental destruction by restoring landscapes in developing communities. Upon closer inspection, you read that the box is made from recycled materials, whereas the alternative you were considering is not.

Which toy would you choose? Chances are that you would go for the product supporting a sustainable future. The toy’s manufacturer will donate to the cause on your behalf. What’s not to love about that?

Why cause marketing works

“Cause marketing” means linking sales to donations. It isn’t new, but it is increasingly important to embrace. After all, Gen Z and millennials have grown up in a time of heightened consciousness about the importance of addressing social and environmental issues.

The most obvious reason that cause marketing works is that charitable acts are generally considered the “right” thing to do. Businesses act on their opportunity to improve the world, and their customers feel good about giving back to others while getting a product for themselves. The pride of contributing via their purchases can then encourage future spending on the brand, so that a short-term boost in sales thanks to cause marketing can lead to long-term brand loyalty. When shopping with a particular brand makes consumers feel good, they will not only continue to do so, but may also advocate for the brand via social networks and word of mouth.

It’s not only consumers who can become more loyal to the brand, however. A mission to give back can also help support a strong internal company culture, where employees are happy, motivated and engaged. Staff can feel better and more purposeful knowing that their employer, and by extension their own work, supports worthy causes.

Tips for giving back effectively

Of course, it’s not enough for brands simply to donate to a charity. A cause-marketing campaign should make sense for the brand and its audience. So, consider these three tips to get started.

1. Be genuine

There’s no shortage of nonprofit organizations and causes in need of support. While it can be tempting to give back to those with an established presence in the public and the media, brands need to remain authentic, aligning their values with what they support. When brands jump on a bandwagon in support of a particular cause in hopes of boosting sales and their image, consumers can see through it.

2. Be transparent

For some consumers, simply knowing their purchase has contributed to a charitable donation is enough, but others want more information about the impact this is having. Show consumers what difference the campaign has made in terms of money donated, aid given, or any metric that is relevant, clear and meaningful. This also helps to keep the brand accountable. The right numbers can be powerful, so tell customers the direct effects of their spending and the campaign’s impact on the world.

3. Be inspiring

All brands have a story and the results of a successful cause-marketing campaign can serve to enhance it. Weave any charitable initiatives into the brand’s story, being sure to tell it with genuine emotion and purpose. This can inspire consumers to buy from the brand and continue a shared mission to improve the world, one purchase at a time.

In conclusion, supporting worthy causes in genuine and ongoing ways can help manufacturers, distributors and retailers appeal to a wider audience and encourage brand loyalty, all while doing social good. It’s not only those immediately involved who can feel good as a result, but also future generations whose world we, as an industry, are helping to make better and more sustainable.

Vanessa Rose is a certified clinical sexuality coach and the account manager for Australia and New Zealand at Svakom.


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