Companies have become increasingly active in developing relationships between their brands and popular causes in such areas as the environment (e.g. nature conservancy) and health issues (e.g. breast cancer awareness crusade). As such alliances become a more important strategic component of the brand’s marketing mix, managers seek direction as to how to generate the most impact with these tie‐ins. This article uses associative learning principles as a framework for understanding how to facilitate building connections between brands and causes so as to increase the value of this highly visible marketing activity. Specific associative learning principles are detailed and applied, improving the use of cause‐related marketing alliances.
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