Matco's Pink Tool Campaign Grows from Franchisees' Interests
Matco Tools launched a nationwide campaign for breast cancer awareness called Tools for the Cause, manufacturing a special line of tools and equipment colored pink and turning its headquarters pink for a time as well.
Through September next year, Matco will donate 15 percent of the sale of each product purchased from a list of selected items, and expects to raise $300,000 for its selected charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
I had called Matco for an article about companies marketing their wares to the gender opposite from their traditional base, which will appear in the January issue of Franchise Times. But it turns out that’s not what Matco is trying to do.
Rather, the effort grew out of the interests of their franchisees, distributors and employees. “The employees here are very passionate about a number of causes. As we start talking about the distributor teams in the field, breast cancer is really first and foremost on the top of their minds,” says John Green, vice president of marketing and e-commerce for Matco Tools in Stow, Ohio.
He believes that’s a key point for companies selecting causes to support, to be sure the efforts come from the bottom up, not the top down. They’re the point of impact at the end of the day,” he said about franchisees. “They’re the face of Matco, so in many ways it’s easier to get energy and ideas that way.”
Matco was deciding whether to commit to Susan G. Komen last summer, at about the same time the foundation was generating controversy over its decision to stop funding for certain women’s health services, which it subsequently reversed. “It caused us to pause, but not for long,” he said. “We wanted the most impactful organization, where we would see the best utilization of funds.”
Green said Matco will measure the effort’s success by the numbers, yes. They’re “well on track” to hitting the $300,000 fund-raising goal. More important is the level of employee and franchisee engagement, which will guide future cause marketing decisions.