Customer engagement

WaterAid is a widely recognised, trusted brand recognised by over half the UK population.

Partnering with WaterAid can build brand awareness, enhance retail, client and customer relationships, and increase sales and market share.

We have a wealth of experience and will work with you to create an innovative campaign to engage customers, helping you stand out from your competitors.

Case study - H&M

WaterAid approached H&M in 2002 proposing a cause related marketing campaign, selling a bikini with a 10% of sales donation. H&M customers responded very positively and the partnership was extended and has grown year on year since. 

In 2007 Kylie Minogue became the face of the 'H&M loves Kylie' swimwear range for WaterAid, radically increasing the donations from the previous year and transforming our partnership with the company. Since then the WaterAid collection has expanded to now include a full beachwear range for men, women and children.

2012 marks the 10 year anniversary of the partnership. The donation mechanism now stands at 25% of the retail price, with the range appearing both online and in 150 stores worldwide. Our ambition for this year is to generate £500,000, although, from experience, we both anticipate the final figure being higher.

The aims of the partnership are:

  • To support access to WASH for poor communities in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan
  • To demonstrate H&M's commitment to sustainability globally
  • To raise awareness of WaterAid through H&M’s global high street shops

Close transparent dialogue between H&M in Sweden and WaterAid UK, USA, and Sweden has developed a strong, successful and truly global partnership. A recent example of this global collaboration is that extra funds have been leveraged by routing the money raised through Sweden rather than the UK, where the partnership is managed. This has enabled us to access a matched giving scheme with Sweden's Lottery, close to doubling the funds raised.

Trading regulations:

Where a donation is tied to the use of a product or service sold, we are required by HMRC to manage this as a commercial agreement. The reason is that a charity association is considered as giving a competitive market advantage to one company over another or one product or service over another.

Our trustees have set the entry level for this kind of partnership at a minimum of £10,000 per annum. We fully appreciate that this is a lot of money but as we can only credibly have a limited number of commercial tie-ins, we are obliged to look for the most effective, best value use of the brand at all times.&

£10,000 per annum is the minimum we are authorised to accept. In practice the decision on whether to license our brand is decided on product / sector market value.

Our Directors review and sign off agreements of this kind. Typically we look for a commitment greater than the minimum.

Gauging what the exact value is depends on the product, sales price, sales volume and territories. The guiding principles for sign-off are:

  • Are we receiving what feels to be a reasonable return based on the sales activity?
  • Is it in line with similar product promotions / charity partnership in the sector?
For more information on cause related marketing please contact the Corporate Team.