Access to technology and instant information has enabled consumers to learn more about the brands they use. It’s also led to an increase in the dissemination of misinformation. It’s far easier to begin a new brand with a positive stance rather than trying to defend a challenging set of circumstances.
Lulu Lemon, Toms and GoldieBlox are examples of brands that have focussed on providing a positive impact in the world. And they’ve been rewarded with deeply loyal customers. Even traditionally profit-driven companies are trying to do-good. For example, Coca-Cola has released a campaign to fight for inequality and tolerance. They’ve removed their product’s labels in the Middle East, adding the tagline, “Labels are for cans, not for people.”
While many enterprises attempt to walk-the-talk, beware. Being truly socially driven is easier said than done. It takes a conscious effort and a vision and mandate that’s infused inside and out. Consumers today are a cynical bunch and you’ll get exposed quickly for “cause-washing” if you only skim the surface. Bottom line, you’ve got to believe in what you’re selling and do as you say.
And if you find anything going sideways, voluntary transparency is the name of the game – even if it means taking a hit in profits. For example, following bad publicity for collecting ad revenue from their captive audience, Facebook announced a plan to share ad revenue with video creators.