We’ve been seeing more of it lately – especially from brands that are known for being irreverent and fearless. What am I referring to? Brands that are not afraid to have a point-of-view. Brands that are not afraid to ‘risk’ controversy or backlash in support of beliefs. We’ve seen a lot of it lately. Colin Kaepernick is likely the most memorable recent example (and still inspiring conversation months after the ad first aired), but brands can take a stand in other ways, too. Patagonia (another, very purposeful brand) did just that when they chose to not financially benefit from the recent corporate tax cut, but rather to reinvest the $10 million that law saved them and use it for something they believed in; something that drives every decision they make: saving the planet. What a perfect ‘on brand’ move.
Consumers expect no less from brands these days. In fact, a survey by Sprout Social found that two-thirds of consumers want brands to take a stand on social and political issues. Why? Because they want to have a relationship with brands. And, you can’t have a successful, long-lasting relationship if you aren’t transparent. Or if you walk the fence. Or if you are mediocre. Or if you are always in neutral because you fear the outcome of anything else.
Brands should not be afraid to take a stand. But, when they do, that stand should be authentic and true to their brand. Sure, there’s a risk. But if you don’t stand for something, what’s the point? Consider this: Do you remember the person who stands quietly on the sidelines? Or do you remember the person who has an opinion? Who encourages a conversation? Think about it. And then take a stand.