THE BLOG

Tevolution Brews Funds for Causes

07/21/2011 01:32 pm 13:32:44 | Updated Sep 20, 2011

I love two things: cause marketing -- a partnership between a non-profit and for-profit for mutual profit -- and iced tea. So it's no surprise that I'm boiling over for Tēvolution, a new brand of iced tea from Purpose Beverages, Inc., launching right now in in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

This is purpose-driven entrepreneurship as Tēvolution was created specifically with causes in mind. But their model is also a great example of cause marketing that uses text messaging -- SMS -- to direct donations and engage consumers.

The company has initially partnered with four non-profits and contributes 25 cents from every bottle sold to one of these causes.

Those of you who read my post on SMS last week know that I have a renewed interest in SMS because of its ease of use and widespread adoption. In short, just about everyone knows how to text. But not everyone understands QR codes, location-based services and apps.

And that's just one of the reasons Tēvolution co-founders Ian Simpson and Gerard Artavia chose to go with SMS.

Here's how Tēvolution works.

Once you tear off the label, you still have the choice of going online to enter your bottle's unique code. This is a good thing to do your first time, as you can create a profile for yourself that, among other things, allows you to share your giving with friends on Twitter and Facebook, and track your total contribution.

The Tēvolution guys have even gone the distance there, optimizing the same message for SMS text (160 characters), Facebook (embedded branding) and Twitter (140 characters, @ user names and great use of Twitter-speak).

Tēvolution chose SMS for what it's meant for: broad reach. Text is just the messenger. In addition, Tēvolution smartly engages consumers with a variety of messages that are designed to educate them about the causes they're supporting. It's a cross-platform approach that really shows what a company can do when thinking outside the box. Their texts include a link to a richer media experience for those with smartphones, in this case a landing page with an embedded video on the cause.

"We wanted to be at the leading edge of cause branding," explained Ian. "We are transparent about how much we're giving and how we support our non-profit partners who make a real impact in communities across the U.S."

Regardless of the type of cause marketing your cause or company is using, Tēvolution offers an excellent example -- organic and all natural to boot! -- of how and why more promotions should include the simple, but ever-present text message.

Tēvolution is currently available in our nation's capital and Los Angeles. I live in Boston so I order it online at Amazon. Visit their "Info" section on Facebook for locations. Stay tuned for their launch in other cities.