A Christmas campaign with a difference, this year Sainsbury’s & sister company Argos aim to make Christmas that little bit better for thousands of disadvantaged people with their ‘Help Brighten a Million Christmases Campaign’, with the customer its driving force. Read on for our thoughts on how positive disruption of the customer journey can be used for social good.

The campaign will see Sainsbury’s drive donation to their in-store foodbank collection points and set up new toy donation points in Argos stores. On Friday, Sainsbury’s stores across the country will have shelf-edge signs to help customers navigate which products are the most useful to foodbanks. This positive disruption of the customer journey solves the main problem of the wide-spread supermarket donation initiative: customers forgetting it exists until they’ve paid and are leaving the store. Boosting the key donations their partners need for Christmas, and helping Argos customers give a gift to a disadvantaged child, the two brands aim to make a real difference this December and beyond.

What makes us so excited about this campaign, beyond the 1m food & toy donation target, is how it puts the customer at the heart of the social initiative. Not a behind the scenes CSR drive, nor a donation-based fundraiser, the brands are giving customers the opportunity to play a meaningful role and to make a more personal contribution to a cause that many of them see on their doorsteps. Just like we prefer to give a gift we have chosen to a loved one for Christmas, it feels better and more connected to choose an item to donate rather than throwing your change into a charity pot. We see the success in Oxfam’s ‘buy a goat’ products, and the much-loved shoebox initiative, and Sainsbury’s makes this a reality during their own customer journey. Tesco’s promise to match donations by 25% has a fantastic impact on donations received, but Sainsbury’s is also fulfilling a desire by consumers to play a more active and tangible role in social causes.

The initiative hits the sustainability triple win: helping the brand share its passion for social causes, gives the customer a real role in tackling that cause as part of the shopping experience, and pushes for awareness and donation to an important social issue.

Next, maybe we’ll even see Sainsbury’s forwarding the proceeds of donated products to related causes – or is that a competitor’s opportunity to one-up them in the fight for social justice? The trend for brands to out-do their competitors on social causes might just be the healthiest competition we’ve ever seen.

At what moments along your customer journey could your brand work together with customers to have a positive social impact?

BY ENGINEER Lucinda Toole

Lucinda.toole@thevalueengineers.com