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.
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.