Did you know that 91% of millennials and 85% of the average U.S. public would eagerly switch brands in favor of one that openly supports a worthwhile cause? These days, many people are excited about campaigning for a cause, and they expect their favorite companies to share their enthusiasm. People tend to back their beliefs with their wallets, and they have started to demand that brands stand for something other than corporate profit. Brand activism is key in connecting with your audience, developing your company, and making the world a better place.
What is Brand Activism?
Simply put, brand activism is when a company defines its values and shares opinions as they relate to those values. An organization may have an opinion on social, economic, political, or environmental issues and incorporate these stances into their brand.
The level of brand activism varies by company. For example, some groups may not do more than create a response statement to a hot-button issue. Others may work to rally people for a cause or create a specific plan of action to combat problems.
Action is ultimately what helps consumers determine whether or not a brand actually stands for what they say they do.
Best Practice for Brand Activism
If you’re interested in exploring activism through your brand and taking a stance, you’ll need to first examine your target audience, your company’s track record, and any potential risks.
Although your company’s stance on issues should be determined by your values, you should also consider your market. For example, if your audience stands for something completely different than your company, you may want to dial back on talking about the issues while you evaluate your product and how it works with your audience.
You’ll also need to examine your company’s past record. Do your past statements and actions align with your position? These must connect before you can move forward or customers will view you as hypocritical. You should only take a stance when your actions match your opinion.
Taking a stand is a risky, although worthwhile, move. Create a plan on how to respond if things backfire. Prepare your marketing and public relations team members for consumer feedback as it relates to your brand’s stance. You should also prepare talking points for your CEO and other influencers, but make sure they sound genuine and authentic.
If brand activism is the right step for your company, you’ll need to identify an issue, develop an official statement, and make sure your organizations’ past and future actions align with the stance you’ve chosen.