Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid is one of my favorite movies, it’s the perfect combination of a western, a comedy and a love story. It doesn’t’ hurt that it includes a catchy tune “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” and two not-too-hard-on-the-eyes co-stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford. I was hooked after I first watched it and have had a soft spot for Mr. Newman ever since, plus, I grew up a couple of towns over from where he lived so I felt we had a connection of sorts.
I was probably one of the first to give Newman’s Own products a try. From salad dressing, tomato sauce and popcorn they were one of the first celebrity produced and endorsed products with all, yes all, profits going to charity. A plus in my book.
Years later, Newman’s Own is still going strong among an older audience but many millennials don’t even know the famous face that dons every product and might have little to no knowledge of its altruistic story. (Frankly, I hadn’t even thought much about this (then) breakthrough approach until I read a recent New York Times article.) So Newman’s Own is making a few adjustments, the first major ones since 1982, to better position themselves to a generation that they are trying to attract, millennials.
Research shows that millennials favor companies with a generous mission. With that in mind Newman’s Own is changing its label to be more in your face as to its philanthropic efforts by rewording and repositioning the “All Profits to Charity” banner that typically frames Mr. Newman’s face. The new label will be more prominently located on the products and the wording changed to “100 Percent Profits to Charity,” which Newman’s Own feels is a slight but significant clarification to consumers. Additionally, videos are being released that focus on the 600 charities the company works with each year with no mention of Newman’s Own products.
This is only one example; companies across the world are stepping back and analyzing how best to reach this untapped market. As I reflect on Giving Tuesday, I’m sure many companies tweaked their marketing message to highlight their philanthropic work in order to reach this vast group. Want to know more? The Center for Generational Kinetics has done some terrific work and research on millennials habits and preferences being – take a look.
Will these changes draw-in more customers? Time will tell but the subtle changes could pay off big in the long run. Perhaps this new millennial market will grab a box of Newman’s Own microwave popcorn; settle in for the night and pull-up Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid on Netflix. I say that’s a win-win.