It’s important now more than ever that companies start making their social impact a huge point in their marketing efforts. While consumers are creating a demand for companies that stand for something, in today’s often hostile social and political climate brands are facing complicated obstacles when attempting to engage these consumers.
Speaking out and taking a stance on social issues is always a risk for brands. For some, it is more in line with their history, but it is never necessarily easier. Today, the presence of almost all major brands on social media makes every move a company makes a factor that could affect the company’s bottom line. In a sense, it puts these brands under a microscope. This makes it difficult for brands to navigate the hostile waters of today’s biggest issues in the way that its consumers desire.
We can see where this problem has manifested in popular brands like Pepsi and Nike. Pepsi struggled to break into the social impact sphere when its Ad with celebrity Kendell Jenner resulted in negative feedback and a hit to Pepsi’s stock prices. Nike’s campaign with Colin Kaepernick also received negative feedback from many consumers, however, shortly after the campaign the company’s stock prices actually rose.
How should companies go about meeting the demand for creating a brand with a social impact? How can they do so effectively without offending its consumers? Finally, how can these brands deliver a message with social impact that ensures no damage to the company’s bottom line? What do you think?