brand activism

How Brand Activism Can Influence Business Performance

Latest posts by Joel Lim (see all)

It’s difficult to read the morning news while sipping your freshly brewed cup of coffee without hearing about one horror story after another. While this might be upsetting, a lovely and uplifting byproduct of all this criticism is that it inspires many to become activists.

People also want to see companies take a position and support something more significant than corporate profits as they get increasingly active in advocating for change. And they’re prepared to put their money where their mouth is. However, you must be very cautious while indulging in brand activism because if your message doesn’t align with their opinion, you will lose traction fast.

Before touching on the pros and cons, let’s go over precisely what brand activism is. Brand activism is the type of activism in which a business plays a leading role in the processes of sociopolitical conflict. It allows the customer to assess whether the moral foundations of your business align with their own. Companies may move forward with brand activism by making a public statement, campaigning, providing money to certain organizations, volunteering, or making a political statement through advertisements.

The potential benefits

According to a recent study, 91% of millennials and 85% of U.S. residents would switch brands to one associated with a cause they agreed with. Consumers are more devoted to businesses that go beyond simply offering a product or service and advocate for the same values and ideas they do.

Brands are getting increasingly vocal on topics in reaction to changing customer purchasing behavior. But taking a position exposes companies to potential public reaction, so firms must tread carefully.

Actively supporting a cause can help you generate long-term clients who share your beliefs. When individuals identify buying from a brand with supporting their principles, an emotional bond is formed, which builds loyalty to your brand.

Additionally, brand activism may provide you with a new branding opportunity to stand out to a particular audience, increase exposure on websites advocating for your activism, increase consumer loyalty that agrees with your company’s stance, and, of course, educating the public on essential issues and driving change.

According to Deloitte Insights, a brand’s purpose is everything. Purpose-driven businesses capture more market share and expand three times faster than the competition on average, all while attaining better customer satisfaction.

B the Change stated that “By choosing brands that align with their values, shoppers are voting with their wallets for the kinds of businesses they want in the world — and paving the way toward a more sustainable and just economy. We’re in an unfortunate time where Governments and Institutions provide less and less moral leadership, and we now expect to see it from the brands we buy.” If you can align strongly with your customer’s values, you can leverage that, and that will increase conversions and traffic from the case your business is making.

The potential drawbacks

However, while taking a firm stand on an issue, you must cater to your target audience’s opinions. Suppose you do not advocate for a view that the vast majority of your audience agrees with. In that case, there are various severe consequences, as multiple case studies have found, from the Association of Consumer Research and International Journal of Research and Marketing.

A study found that attitudes among customers who disagreed with a business’ activism significantly declined. Therefore, it is always important to consider the population that disagrees with your brand and if you are willing to lose them for a chance to gain a higher concentration of your target audience.

To add on, another study found a net negative effect of inauthentic advocacy, or “woke washing,” for the issue at hand. They found that by being inauthentic about the change, you will deceive customers with your statements, thus harming both the brand image, the possibility for social change, and customer engagement.

Last words

Historically, companies have been wary of making political remarks in any form for fear of angering their customers. Not every company needs to stand up for every cause, and many think that the negative publicity that comes with taking a contentious stance isn’t worth the loss in sales.

However, most business owners know that no brand can suit everyone. Your target consumers are often constrained by interest, wealth, and personal demographics, which means they prioritize some interests above others. And if you want to prioritize your target audience, increase profits from your target audience, and advocate for change, you should consider authentic brand activism for your company.

Previous Article
wjr business beat

WJR Business Beat: The Social Commerce Boom Is Here (Episode 343)

Next Article
track your marketing

How to Track Your Marketing Efforts

Related Posts
Read More

How to Motivate Your Team Using Milestone Charts

When planning and tackling a project, there are a variety of ways to help your team stay on track. You can keep a list, create a Kanban board, or use other organization resources. Another popular method is to focus on reaching your project milestones. Milestones are important steps that need to be completed to finish...
brand awareness strategy
Read More

How to Create a Brand Awareness Strategy That Will Generate Buzz

Have you ever recommended a restaurant to your friends or traveled to a city solely because your neighbor couldn’t stop talking about it? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you have experienced the buzz—hyping something so much that people start talking about it.  The concept of generating buzz to get consumers, marketers,...
hiring remote employees
Read More

Crucial Steps When You Hire First Employees for Your Remote Business

Are you the one-person show behind a thriving virtual business? If so, you likely handle all of your company’s sales outreach, customer service inquiries, order fulfillment, social media marketing, budgeting … and the list goes on. Are you overwhelmed by all of the daily tasks you need to do to keep your enterprise running smoothly?...
empathetic company culture
Read More

Attract Talent by Creating an Empathetic Company Culture

Each new generation brings something different to the table and tries hard to paint the social norms in their colors. Nowadays, it’s millennials' turn to make the world a better place and they truly managed to bring some extremely sensitive issues under the spotlight.  Let’s take the workplace as an example. What used to be...