March 31, 2009

Business puts empathy into deals

U.S. companies are turning empathy into action with new marketing programs that reach out to recently unemployed workers, an industry consultant said.

Altruism marketing is a powerful way to say, 'We care,' said Michael Silverstein at Boston Consulting Group, USA Today reported Tuesday.

I expect to see a lot more of it over the next 90 days, he said.

In a recent gesture, FedEx Office provided free printing for resumes for a day, which attracted 24,000 out-of-work people and resulted in 890,000 resumes printed, the company said.

Walgreens is set to announce free family services for minor health problems at in-store health clinics through 2009 for those who have lost their jobs. AutoNation, a large car retailer, has said it will make half a year's car payments for buyers who lose jobs.

Men's clothing chain Jos. A. Bank Clothiers said buyers who purchase a $199 suit can keep the suit and ask for a full refund if they lose their jobs.

Like all retailers, we find motivating customers to purchase is challenging, Chief Executive Officer Neal Black told the newspaper.

We expect to make some long-term customers out of this promotion, he said.