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Cause Marketing in Real Life: Leprechaun Lattes

Many cause marketing programs which use purchased triggered donations are large, national efforts but they can also be small, local, grass-roots efforts and still be highly successful.

Leprechaun Lattes, a peppermint mocha flavored beverage topped with green whipped cream, was initially sold at just one downtown Boston Starbucks the month preceding St. Patrick’s Day. Twenty-five cents from each drink sold went to Jumpstart, a national children-focused literacy organization based in Boston.

Over the next five years, the program expanded to all New England stores. In February and March 2005, Starbucks sold 53,000 drinks and raised $13,000 for Jumpstart.

While Starbucks is a large international company with several equally large cause marketing programs, most notably with Product (RED), this program had a homespun, local vibe to it.

Starbucks supported the campaign with a bit of advertising in the hometown newspaper, Boston Globe. But most of the promotion for it was scribbled on those popular A-frame chalkboards Starbucks stores rely on to promote new products. Word of mouth in this program was key.

Starbucks’ New England stores and Boston-based Jumpstart teamed up for Leprechaun Lattes.
Starbucks’ New England stores and Boston-based Jumpstart teamed up for Leprechaun Lattes.

Any business could do what Starbucks did: Choose a time period, designate a specific product or service, and donate a percentage or portion of sales to the charity of its choosing.

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