There has been a wall between brand building and politics for years. Most corporations just support causes in one way or another, instead of outright advertising support. But that is starting to change.
Companies that are looking for an edge in this hyper-competitive marketplace are finding ways to be relevant and that means connecting with an audience in a meaningful way. Consumers are also asking companies and organizations what their political stands are. CEOs and board members from Apple, Facebook, Chick-fil-A, Uber and Coors have been outspoken proponents for one way of political thinking or another.
“While from the outside, it might appear that brands taking this position are potentially ostracizing an audience that doesn’t agree with their viewpoint, it makes sense for a brand like Diesel or Nike – whose target audiences are largely young and urban – to assume that these messages will be appreciated,” says Eliza Williams, Advertising Age (Creative Review)
In a recent report by Ipsos (Brand Risk in the New Age of Populism, June 2017) one quarter of people had stopped using a product or service of a company because of its political leaning. That may not sound too bad — 25% — but in this marketplace that could kill many businesses or nonprofits.
Taking a stand may look brave, sexy and needed in this current climate, but hold fast to your brand’s stand and don’t muddy your brand platform and alienate a significant part of your target audience. Leave the politics for the table and bars and the political ads — we all know there are plenty of those already.