Centrica, the holding company of British Gas, is to increase its
commitment to cause-related marketing (CRM) as part of an attempt to
become more community focused and reinvest some ’heart’ into its
It is currently reviewing its CRM objectives and is considering putting
its resources behind just one charitable cause next year for a sustained
initiative. This marks a change from its current policy which sees
Centrica’s businesses, British Gas and financial services firm Goldfish,
contribute pounds 1.7m to several causes including Mencap and Carers
Speaking at last week’s Business in the Community conference, Centrica’s
group director of marketing, Simon Waugh, told delegates that Centrica
needed to restore closer links with the community. ’Whatever we do will
be commercially justifiable and help negate brand weaknesses. We have to
be careful which cause we choose because there is a risk of alienating a
big chunk of our customer base,’ he said.
Centrica has been focusing on the structure of its business in the face
of stiff competition, but Waugh said that the firm would now place more
of an emphasis on brand, image and reputation.
The utility is researching its 19 million customer base and thousands of
employees through questionnaires and focus groups to gauge opinions on
the types of causes and activity which would suit the business and
please its customers.
Research unveiled at the conference revealed that 71% of chief
executives, marketing directors and community affairs directors believe
CRM will become more important to their companies over the next three
years (Research International).