There’s value in a brand authentically joining a social movement

  • people protesting

Maya Angelou said, ‘Courage is the most important of all the virtues.’ There may be few other times in human history than now when these words were more apt.

As individuals, businesses, countries and a species we face multiple and serious threats to our future well-being. Some things – like world hunger and climate change, not to mention worldwide pandemics – are catastrophic on a planetary scale. Others, like our ongoing struggle for racial equality or against poverty, divide the human race along ideological lines.

Enter into this scenario brands and marketers. What should brands be saying on these – and other – social issues? When a movement like #BlackLivesMatter starts up, should a brand express solidarity? When the ugly face of gender-based violence has an influential name, of an influencer or media mogul attached to it, should advertisers withdraw their spend? Let us be clear, this is not a marketing question. 

This goes to the core beliefs of the company and the values for which the brand stands. Creating communications and putting your name behind a cause is the end result of a lot of soul searching, not the start. Generally, if something feels too easy, it is.