As our agency has been blogging and posting about for the last 18 months, brands are being asked to take a stand on social, cultural and societal issues that face our world. Studies have shown that brand loyalty can be positively impacted by brands that take a stand on issues. And consumers want these brands not just to take a stand, but also to take action.
It’s a risky thing but this is a growing phenomenon in the changing behaviors of consumers toward brands. A recent study by SproutSocial of 1500 U.S. consumers reported that 70% of respondents believe it’s important for brands to take a public stand on social and political issues. Roughly half the respondents indicated that they would prefer that brands take their stand on social media.
Here’s the real rub. If a brand takes a stand on social/cultural issues, it needs to align with the brand’s values and mission of the organization. More than half of respondents (53%) believe brands only take a stand for public relations and marketing purposes. As we said above, taking a stand can be risky business for a brand. The study reported that 34% of consumers will decrease spending with a brand whose stances they disagree with. Conversely, 36% say they will purchase more of a product if a brand takes a stance they agree with.
If you go back to Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, the author states that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” So, the mission and purpose of your brand is something that needs to be clearly articulated. If the causes/stances a brand supports aligns with the “why,” I think your message and actions will ring true. Whether a customer supports the same issues as a brand or not, they won’t be able to say that the brand’s stance doesn’t align with the values the brand stands for.
Helping brands find what to stand for and how to get the message out to their target audiences is something G/L does very well. Reach out to Tim Leon at [email protected] if you have any questions.