As we approach the new year and a new president, the country remains divided, the future most uncertain and for many, the threat to American democracy unthinkable.
As the public or shall we say consumers, become increasingly incited by the social environment, brands will be forced to take a stand. Those that toe the line of neutrality may end up vulnerable for remaining agnostic in relation to civil rights.
Let’s review what we’ve seen so far.
BuzzFeed terminated a $1.3 million dollar ad deal from the Republican National Committee over Donald Trump.
When Donald Trump Jr. compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles,” Wrigley brilliantly responded with the following statement: “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy. We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
Amazon released an important ad featuring the friendship between a priest and an imam to promote Amazon Prime, but the takeaway for most was a moment of kindness and inclusion during a time when the anti-Muslim rhetoric ran rampant.
All of these examples whether subtle or bold are significant instances of brands demonstrating their conviction. The days of appealing to the masses and playing it safe are numbered.
In 2017, purpose-driven brands are primed for success, because their convictions are strong, consistent and clear and their connections with consumers are authentic and meaningful.
For brands circling around purpose and conviction, now is the time to buckle down and lead with purpose rather than bolting it on as a complement to the annual sales goal.
While 2017 is most certainly uncertain it is also an incredible opportunity for brands to take a stand steeped in purpose, act as cultural architects and help shape our world for the greater good.