Varoom 38: It’s Got To Be Real

It’s Got To Be Real

From getting it really wrong, to getting it kind of right, Stuart Lang assesses how the credibility of brands can be in the balance when they adopt movements for equality and empowerment as part of their promotional activities. This extract from Varoom 38 introduces his article.

Once upon a time, brands could measure results in terms of sales and awareness. But not anymore. Today, a brand is defined by how it makes people feel and what they associate with it. How consumers feel about a brand at any given time establishes that brands’ reputation and builds relationships.

Consumers want brands with a clear purpose. Global spending on ‘responsible consumption’ products is now $400 billion. Millennials, more than other generations, are driven by doing good – and actively seek out brands that align with their ideals.

Rogue Matilda charity campaign Expres-Shoe-Nism. Shoes illustrated by various illustrators

Other brands might not be quite as strong or provide as compelling a reason for people to believe in them. And so they have to work harder to give people those reasons, to change perceptions, or to surprise and delight. The obvious way to do this is to spend their way out – with a big ad campaign, through brand sponsorship, or engaging high profile ambassadors. But there is another method – to capture the zeitgeist by supporting high profile movements in order to position themselves in a more positive light to their various audiences.

Cultural and political movements like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Pride and International Women’s Day are hugely important initiatives that whole swathes of people support, not only because they mean lot to them on a personal level, but because they want to shape, change and build awareness globally. Brands are acutely aware how many people support these causes because they exist in the same hyper-connected era that we all do. They can’t be seen to be doing nothing when a certain cause captures their customers’ hearts and minds. But on the flip side, they can’t afford to get it wrong with a poorly executed campaign, a misplaced idea, or by being too late to the party.

Facebook’s Credit Her campaign

To read more on Stuart Lang’s comments on campaigns from Brewdog, Nike, Rogue Matilda and Facebook purchase Varoom 38 here

3rd December 2018

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