Silence isn’t nearly as effective as it once was. Speaking up in the wrong way might result in a severe customer reaction.
In the past, no one would have ever expected or wanted a consumer brand to express its views on social issues, but times have changed. Many of today’s buyers (especially those in the younger demographics) want the companies they buy things from to make a statement on essential issues.
Brands now face the increasingly difficult task of deciding when and how to express their positions.
It’s not enough to decide to take a public stance; it’s all about the message for firms that want to engage with socially conscious customers.
Here are five suggestions for how brands can effectively show their support.
1. BE AUTHENTIC
Consumers have begun to recognize insincere marketing as a red flag. People may start to doubt everything a company purports to stand for due to so-called “woke-washing” efforts by brands that aren’t true to their principles.
When it comes to problems that consumers care about, authenticity is the most crucial part of a brand’s statement. A brand should care enough to speak up, and it should do so in a way that is true to its vision and purpose. Otherwise, weak brand advocacy risks alienating people, especially when it’s evident that a company is attempting to profit from sensitive issues.
2. STAY AWAY FROM BANDWAGONING
Brands should wait until their message has meaning before getting into the latest trend. It’s best to take a step back and evaluate a public comment if it can be readily dismissed as low-cost tokenism. Before jumping on the hashtag bandwagon and sending out that post, brands should consider whether their brand’s big picture reflects the messaging they’re promoting online.
3. A NEGATIVE TONE IS NOT REQUIRED
Brands don’t have to use negative tones in their message, even when dealing with complex themes. With brands leaning into what they’re doing to help, realistic and pragmatic language about actual human situations may coexist with hope and optimism.
Partnering with influencers, particularly those focused on positively promoting specific causes and movements, is another powerful strategy to shape support in a way that inspires.
4. COLLABORATE WITH CREATORS IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media creators/influencers have earned the confidence and respect of their followers, paving the path for effective outreach aimed at spreading company missions and values. Influencer marketing is most often connected with product promotion, but it’s also an effective method for building focused brand awareness and associations.
The finest influencers don’t just repeat a brand’s message; they actively contribute to it with everything they have to offer. Keep messaging prompts fluid and allow influencers to utilize their audience-centric language and visuals to spread the word to reach their full potential.
5. AS MOMMA SAYS, “PICK YOUR BATTLES.”
The majority of people now want brands to speak out and help spark change. Those who jump on the latest trending subject, on the other hand, should be aware that it may cast a poor light on all of the other times they remained mute. (Or, even worse, it will appear insincere or unnecessarily divisive.)
The best approach for brands to communicate their principles is through their activities as a company. On the other hand, brands should not pass up the opportunity to genuinely start meaningful conversations about what they’re doing to aid their communities. Speaking up can lead to solid brand sentiments and even lifelong loyalty.