Marketing in the Age of Resistance
Modern consumers are as politically and socially conscious as ever. While some brands respond out of fear of alienating sects of their audience, a recent Morning Consult study found that merely saying the “right things” or “standing in solidarity” no longer cut it with consumers. They want the brands they support to back up those platitudes with action.
At the moment — with protests against racial injustice continuing across the globe — companies face increased pressure to denounce discrimination publicly and solidify their commitments to diversity and inclusion. We have recently seen companies respond to this demand in a variety of ways.
After George Floyd’s death, some brands posted brief messages of support and solidarity on social media, while others launched full-scale multichannel marketing campaigns. Regardless of the approach, companies should proceed with care when commenting on current events — especially when they involve social justice or politically polarizing topics.
Throughout the digital age, businesses have amassed massive paper trails on their websites and social media accounts. With a small amount of legwork, consumers can easily comb through a company’s receipts to see which brands are offering lip service and which ones genuinely care. Any inauthentic or inaccurate statements about your commitment to diversity or equal rights can quickly be debunked, ridiculed, and shared virally across the internet.