Today’s politics and society are more polarized than ever before. This is constantly brought home via social media and the news. Brands traditionally shy away from making statements and taking stands on political issues but in today’s culture consumers and employees no longer accept that nor expect that from a brand. They are looking for brands to take a stand on the issues confronting society. This can become tricky as doing so will antagonize one side or the other.
What should be considered when speaking out on political issues and social causes?
- Recent surveys show that 81% of Americans expect brands and their executives to take a stand on dominant political and social issues. They expect corporate engagement and that brand and its officers will be clear and concise on their positions. They do not expect or want executives and brands to straddle and will leave that brand if it does. Have a clear message.
- Your brand will be tested when taking a stand. The stand that you take must be consistent with the values that consumers and employees believe the brand stands for. Once you take a stand that stand and position must remain consistent.
- Frame your response to the issues on principles and values that the brand stands for and not on partisan politics and personalities. Brands need in their statements to affirm the values and principles that people have come to expect when associating with brand.
In today’s activist society people are expecting companies and their executives to take a stand on controversial issues. Part of the reason that people buy into a brand is they believe the brand shares their values. That is why it is imperative that when addressing today’s pressing issues executives are consistent and concise in sharing their principles with their brand identity.