We’ve reached a point where companies can no longer, and should no longer, stay silent about broad-reaching social issues. Employees are speaking up to hold their employers accountable to their own missions, and customers are loyal to brands they believe align with their personal values, such as Zappos, Patagonia and Nike.
It’s an exciting time for consumers and employees and is also the right time for brands to be thoughtful. Supporting causes as a brand is important. You have a platform and audience that can be used for the greater good. But beware, customers can sniff out inauthenticity – greenwashing. And you will turn them away from you as fast as you wanted them to embrace you.
Brands need to find a balance between having both a positive business and social impact while also remaining genuine to their company’s values and the causes they support. Brands can’t stay silent any longer, your customers and prospects won’t permit it, and we as marketers shouldn’t be afraid to try and affect change.
Let’s be the change.