Photo: A recent case is Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick for the 30th anniversary of the company’s famous “Just Do It” campaign. The campaign caused in parts feverish debates among consumers and marketers, particularly on social media platforms, but seems to overall pay off for the company.

A recent case is Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick for 30th anniversary of the company’s famous ‘Just Do It’ campaign. The campaign caused, in parts, feverish debates among consumers and marketers, particularly on social media platforms, but seems to overall pay off for the company.

89% of [us] would switch from a brand without a cause to one that supported a cause, if pricing and quality were comparable. And 70% of [us] believe that companies have an obligation to help social causes (Source: Forbes)

In this day and age, consumers are all for authenticity and they are increasingly putting their money behind brands that are willing to speak up for causes.

Brand activism (or CSR), in a nutshell, refers to a situation wherein a company shares their opinion on social, economic, environmental or political issues –– an opinion which is typically aligned with the company’s defined values. While some companies will simply go on the record and communicate their stance on a controversial issue, others will launch campaigns or initiatives in order to rally people around issues. It is undeniable that brands get plenty of economic benefit out of brand activism (when done correctly).

Edelman; a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations; has reported that 57% of 14,000 customers in 14 countries state that they are more likely to buy from, or boycott, a brand because of its stance on social or political issue (Source: ubermetrics)

In today’s climate of social and political upheaval, it is clear that what is expected of brands and companies is changing. More than ever, people want companies to address some of the most challenging issues of our day, from space travel to ocean plastic, from free speech to public safety, companies are increasingly taking on responsibilities that were formerly the domain of government, NPOs and even NGOs.

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