Monday, October 17, 2011

Kohl's CSR Program: More Than Window Dressing

I was driving by a neighborhood Kohl's the other day, when I literally took a double-take.

Was the Kohl's lettering on that store actually PINK?

A second look reassured me that my eyes were not deceiving me.

We have all been trained really well by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to recognize that particular shade of Pepto Bismol pink. Ever since 1991, when Susan G. Komen handed out pink ribbons for the very first time to its breast cancer survivor race participants, we have seen the color pink show up on everything from t-shirts to cosmetics to food products to treadmills to NFL football shoes ... and now to store fronts.

What is simply amazing to me is what UPS would call the "logistics" behind this effort. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this would be to coordinate across the country. Plus, all this effort is undertaken to last the duration of only one month ... 31 days in all.

But, Kohl's takes their commitment to breast cancer substantially further than just window dressing.

They sell a number of breast cancer items - like t-shirts, water bottles, flip flops and watches - and 100% of the net profits from these items are donated to support the fight against breast cancer. As part of their continuing commitment, Kohl's plans to donate more than $7 million over the next three years to the American Cancer Society's Midwest division and the Southeastern WI affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Additionally, at the store I visited, Kohl's partnered with local hospital Columbia St. Mary's to provide digital mammograms ... right there in their parking lot.
I would be lying if I told you that I am not suffering a bit from "pink ribbon fatigue." I actually often use pink ribbon marketing as an example of an oversaturated brand with my advertising class. However, Kohl's has found an innovative new way to break through the pink ribbon clutter to grab my attention ... both with their signage, as well as the digital mammography traveling van.

Kohl's deserves a ribbon (albeit a blue ribbon) for showing other companies the path to successful and impassioned corporate social responsibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sue Northey - Find me on