What all this attention highlights is that CSR business initiatives have become a very mainstream issue and they can have an impact on how a brand is perceived and the consumer’s response to that brand. Today I am highlighting two major brands giving back through creative CSR programs – Target Canada and Chevrolet.
As you may have heard, American retail giant Target has come to Canada. The retailer has a long history of philanthropic projects in the US and will be continuing that tradition in Canada by the looks of it. In February 2012, Target opened a pop-up store that featured the designs of celebrated Canadian designer Jason Wu and pledged an “amount equal to 100 percent of the sales from” the venture to the United Way Toronto. Additionally in December 2012, Target held Give With Target where “visitors to the Target Canada Facebook page helped [the big box corporation] allocate a $1 million donation by voting for their choice of one of six Canadian nonprofit organizations through [their] popular Give with Target Canada app.” The organizations participating in Give With Target were: ArtsSmarts, ArtStarts, YMCA in Canada, Food Banks Canada, First Book Canada and Pathways to Education. These types of initiatives are a great way to generate good will towards your brand to a new market. Target recently opened the first three of their twenty-four Ontario locations and we look forward to featuring more Canadian inspired CSR initiatives in the months and years to come.
Chevrolet is another company making CSR strides through their much publicized hockey helmet program Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey. The program gives free Bauer helmets to children starting out playing Canada’s favourite pastime. The program for the coming season will be open until April 30th. The criteria for being a part of the program are quite simple “each eligible child is entitled to receive (1) one helmet. To be eligible, your child must have been born in 2007 and be registered to play minor hockey in Canada.” The reason the program is for this age group is because that is when most children play the sport for the first time and Chevrolet wants to help make this experience both positive and safe.
Here’s hoping that other Canadian business leaders follow suit and find creative ways to give back to communities they serve. We will gladly continue to applaud such inspiring and successful efforts like the ones made by Target and Chevrolet.