Should a brand take a stand on sensitive topics?
A recent study from Sprout Social found that two-thirds of consumers think it is important for brands to use their influence to help shape social and political discussions.
Consumers reactions to brands taking a stance via social channels are more likely to be positive than negative, with words such as “intrigued,” “impressed” and “engaged” being used to describe their feelings.
Brands that are known to be socially conscious are often praised for their online content and that content tends to be shared more.
We know that consumers are attracted to brands/companies that have a corporate social responsibility platform that aligns with their personal beliefs. We are a demanding society, expecting the companies we do business with to be good stewards, operating ethically and responsibly.
But this isn’t really a new concept. Heck, we did a book tour back in the early 90s for an author named Larry Embley and his book Doing Well While Doing Good: The Marketing Link Between Business & Nonprofit Causes.
But today, brands and their consumers have a relationship unlike during the time that Larry wrote his book. We interact and engage with brands. We ask for and expect brands to take a stand. We support brands that do and call for boycotts of those that don’t.
This type of activity isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Brands that weave their way into our social conscious must do so fully understanding that for every consumer that agrees, there is likely one (or two or many) that disagree. But for some (dare I say all), that might be a risk worth taking.