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Doing Well While Doing Good. Linking A Social Cause To Product Promotions: Why It Works And How To Make It More Effective



An increasing number of brands in the marketplace are being linked to social causes. Such enhancements are called embedded premiums (EP) and can be quite effective as a sales promotion strategy. Across three experiments, using a nationwide internet panel, we find that (i) at low denominations EP is more effective than an equivalent price discount, (ii) EP benefits an unknown brand more than a known brand, (iii) an identifiable segment of individuals prefer the “other” over “self,” suggesting possible EP optimization and segmentation strategies, (iv) a customization strategy is shown to be more effective than a coverage strategy. These findings have broad implications for brand managers in regard to resource allocation and EP program ROI.