General Mills Save Lids to Save LivesMarketers often speak about forging deep relationships with their customers, prompting them to make decisions based on personal values. Through its highly successful Save Lids to Save Lives program – which supports the Susan G. Komen for the Cure global breast cancer foundation – General Mills has achieved this and continues to do so.

Cheryl Welch, Integrated Communications Director, General Mills, told Loyalty 360 that the program has a definite impact on customer engagement and loyalty.

“Through our Save Lids to Save Lives program, we aim to raise greater awareness of the breast cancer cause by giving people an easy way to get engaged,” Welch said. “We’re excited that millions of codes have been redeemed online for this year’s program and we continue to receive more and more lids in the mail every day.” 

Since 1997, Yoplait yogurt carried the General Mills banner in support of breast cancer. General Mills became involved in the fight against breast cancer – which afflicts one out of every eight women in their lifetime – after an employee at the company’s Carson City, CA, Yoplait plant lost a family member to cancer and helped organize support for a local road race.

In the fall of 1998, Save Lids to Save Lives was created and expanded nationally, becoming a way to support the breast cancer cause with a larger program from General Mills. Money raised from the Save Lids to Save Lives program is donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and its network of more than 120 local affiliates to benefit breast cancer outreach programs in local communities.

Last fall, the Save Lids to Save Lives program expanded beyond Yoplait to include more than 20 other General Mills brands including Green Giant, Honey Nut Cheerios, Fiber One, Nature Valley, Pillsbury, and Betty Crocker.

“It’s important that the message of breast cancer awareness reaches as many people as possible with breast cancer statistics as staggering as they are,” Welch said. “That’s why we included a variety of our favorite brands that appeals to a large cross-section of American shoppers.”

Here’s how the program works: Customers can clip and collect pink lids found on participating products such as Yoplait, Honey Nut Cheerios, Green Giant, Progresso, Nature Valley, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and others. They place the lids together in an envelope and mail them to the Save Lids to Save Lives program based in Atlanta, GA.

Customers include their return address with zip code on the envelope or box and that allows General Mills to direct donations to their local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliate. Customers can also redeem six-digit codes online that are found on product lids and stickers. Codes are also found throughout the year on the General Mills Facebook page and through store promotions. All lids must be received by June 30, 2013.

For each pink lid received, General Mills will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, up to $2.5 million.

“We’re excited that consumers have already redeemed thousands of codes online for this year’s program, and we are receiving more and more lids in the mail every day,” Welch said. 

General Mills doesn’t have any specific statistics regarding sales impact due to the Save Lids to Save lives program. But according to Edelman’s 2012 annual goodpurpose study, 47% of consumers made purchases from brands that support a cause.

We’ve heard from our consumers that this is a cause that’s very important to them,” Welch said. “We know from other programs that consumers want to help their local communities, and Save Lives to Save Lives is a great way to trigger donations to help support breast cancer outreach in local communities.”

Since 1997, Yoplait has contributed more than $34 million to the cause through the Save Lids to Save Lives program, Race for the Cure, and other initiatives. 

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