Well, who did ask you? Your consumers did, that’s who. Nowadays, customers expect their brands to have an opinion and a purpose. They want you to create value with activism. But they want it to make sense for the brand. Consumers don’t want a company to pick any social good cause “just because.” They reward those who align themselves with the right cause(s).
There are even statistics to back this up:
- 63% of consumers are willing to reward companies that take a stand
- 47% walk away from brands that take the wrong position
- 64% have made a purchasing decision based on a brand’s social/political purpose
Consumers want your social purpose to line up with your brand’s purpose, every time. If they think it doesn’t, they will call “bs” on a company. Sound like a lot of pressure?
Well, it can be. That’s okay. We’ve got you covered. Here is an overview of brand activism in today’s call out culture. This should help you decide if adding a social purpose to your company is the right move for your brand.
Promote purpose with, not against, the grain.
You should pick a social issue or issues that align with your brand’s purpose and identity already. Be authentic with your choice. If you aren’t sure what that looks like, start by asking questions like this:
- Do we have a right to weigh in on this issue?
- Who could we alienate by doing this?
- Is this issue “worth it” to us as a company?
- Do we need to pick a smaller issue to work with first – one closer to who we are now?
If an issue doesn’t make sense for how consumers perceive your brand purpose currently, then your new social purpose won’t do anything for your brand. It might even hurt it and confuse consumers.
If you can’t find a cause that fits your company right now. Wait. You are better off waiting for the right cause to create the most value for your brand.
It’s cool to care, man.
No, really. You have to ‘show’ not ‘tell’ that you care about an issue. Deciding to call attention to immigrant rights or the pink tax is only great if you pledge to keep working to call attention to that issue with your power as a company.
Companies like Ben & Jerry’s, who created a “Pecan Resist” flavor for the midterm elections to encourage peaceful protest of Trump’s Presidency, are able to benefit from brand activism efforts because they work their social purpose into their products. Not in spite of it. They reap the benefits because of this.
Brand purpose doesn’t have to be the exact same as your social purpose but everything needs to align. You show that you care by following through. Consumers want to see you keep to your word. They root for you to. But, if they don’t see you care, they will call you out for it.
Brand activism can be tricky. Do it right and you can create real value with the right values in an economy enamored with activism. And with brands having an opinion.
Not sure what if brand activism is right for you or how to integrate it into your next campaign? Then slide on in to our private messages, er, inbox. Our team will help you find the right social purpose for you and then help you act on it spectacularly. Reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org