Today’s world is nothing short of complex. Social issues and causes, activism, and increased awareness across a plethora of cultural moments can feel crippling for brands trying to keep up and take an authentic stand. There is so much going on all of the time, that it’s quite impossible to take meaningful action on every single social issue within a news cycle. So, should a brand take a stance on social issues?
Social media has allowed brands the ability to comment and react to social issues practically immediately. This is both good and bad. Good that it allows brands to communicate, but also bad because many brands face immediate backlash if they do or don’t express their stance.
Take a Stance
According to Fast Company, brands should take a stance. In a recent article, they note: “Completely ignoring all cultural conversations would be ignoring the context in which its employees, customers, investors, and community are living…Brands that pretend it’s just ‘business as usual’ while their stakeholders grapple with pressing cultural challenges will erode trust, as that ‘human voice’ they have worked so hard to establish sounds a lot more like out of touch ‘marketing speak.'”
But how should a brand determine when to take a stance on social issues? First, you need to decide what your brand stands for and if the current issue aligns with your vision/mission statement. What are your brand’s core values and how does this issue impact those? You also need to access if this issue is of importance to your employees, customers, and stakeholders.
Consider the Consequences
Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone. Consider the consequences when it comes to taking a stand and backing a cause. Be vulnerable and authentic and explain your actions. Be prepared to lose customers and/or support.
Need help with deciphering when and when not to take a social stance? Contact us to learn more.