Charities are a natural environment for collaboration. Usually, it is a collaboration born from pure altruism. Nothing bad about it, at the contrary. But the kind of collaboration we usually write about in this blog has a more “egoistic” approach, because it is precisely the win-win kind of deal the one with more chance to succeed in the long run.
But this kind of approach can also be applied to charities, as demonstrated by (RED). The concept founded in 2006 by U2 frontman and activist, Bono, (RED) pioneered a new model of charitable giving by harnessing the power of brands and consumerism to create partnerships for change.
In this collaboration model each partner company creates a product with the Product Red logo. In return for the opportunity to increase revenue through the Product Red license, a percentage of the profit gained by each partner is donated to the Global Fund, created in 2002 to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and support large-scale prevention, treatment and care programs for these three infectious diseases in Africa.
The (RED) system is designed for mutual benefit. Brands get an elevated profile through a custom product design and the cause’s own marketing, and the effort generates a steady stream of revenue for the Global Fund, far exceeding traditional one-off payments from corporate philanthropy budgets.
(RED) product logo has been licensed to partner companies including Nike, American Express (UK), Apple, Starbucks, Converse, Penguin Classics, Gap, Armani, Hallmark or SAP, among many others. Some partners have even gone the extra mile and manufactured products or packaging in African countries, generating jobs and opportunities for local people.
(RED) is considered a unique union of brands, people and ideas. A collaboration context for brands and charities that accentuates the idea that ‘doing good is good business’.