AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerThe New Belief-Driven Buyer

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The New Belief-Driven Buyer

In a study by YouGov, nearly 60% of U.S. internet users believe it’s important for brands to have a point of view on societal issues.Shared beliefs chart

The New York PR firm Edelman calls consumers who “choose, switch or boycott brands based on where they stand on issues as belief-driven buyers.” You’ve watched how some brands are courting controversy to take a stand. In some cases it has caused social media kickback. But in the case of Nike, foot traffic to Nike stores spiked 17% after the Colin Kaepernick ad ran.

What this really means is that consumers want you to take a stand. Picking what you are going to stand on is the real issue. There are many controversial issues, but there are just as many non-controversial issues. The key is that “the stand” must fit your brand.

TOMS Shoes has carved out a nice brand position by donating shoes. It is not controversial, but it makes you feel really good, knowing your purchase is making another person happy, not just making the company happy. Now sock companies and others are donating products as well to people in need.

Take a stand. Consumers want it. But take a stand that fits your brand.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.