Post-purpose: Brand Accountability and Activism
Every brand has its own truth and every human has their own journey to take. To help you digest all that you’ve read up to now, here are some key takeaways and next steps that we suggest you take to accelerate your brand in its journey to become more accountable and responsible.
You may have initiated this process already, in which case they might serve as a helpful reminder. If you haven't, then we hope you might consult them to help initiate change from the inside. Finally, at the end of this page, you’ll find a list of organisations with practical resources and important calls to action that you can sign up to today.
Consumers now expect brands to step in and fill the void left by institutions. More than 55% of consumers will consider corporate values when making a buying decision. And half of all buyers have boycotted a product that didn’t align with their values. Consider the role your brand plays in your customers’ lives, and take that further. How can you exceed their expectations of the product to tap into your shared societal values? Which cause or movement can your brand help to amplify and move forward?
Brands are in a powerful position to cast people of every size, shape, colour and persuasion in their ads if they really want to. Get your own house in order. Brand purpose starts with company culture and should reflect “an optimism not of how the world works but how it should work”. If you want to create a more equitable, sustainable society, the first place to start is in your own backyard. The whole business has to be on-board.
Brands must be prepared to lose customers and have uncomfortable conversations when pursuing what they believe to be right. Some customers may not join your mission. Be prepared for this so it doesn’t blindside you.
Seek diverse perspectives and experience.
Internally, let everyone in your company have a voice and be confident to share their opinion on what is appropriate for the brand.
Externally, make sure you support community and grassroots groups. Be generous with your platform and mindful not to dominate or co-opt.
Brand activism comes from the realisation that there is a wrong to right. The cause does not need to be new. You just need to believe in it. Take time, be committed. The challenges the world faces are complex and profound. With consistent focus, brands have a unique opportunity to be both forces “for growth and for good”.
How can you help today?
Hopefully you’ve read this report and can see the impact brands can have on supporting society at large, using creativity as a tool to strengthen their work, and connect to customers with human values. No doubt you and your company are already committing to change, and evaluating the next steps to continue this work.
If there is one message we hope this report compels you to believe in whole-heartedly, it's that YOU - even as an individual - can make tangible change happen.
And here are a few starter initiatives we encourage you to consider which are driving forward change:
Sign this pledge created by We Are Pi to stop anti-black ad casting. Find the pledge and full report here.
Support the Hispanic Community response programme set up by We Are All Human to provide resources and relief for hispanic communities how are disproportionately affected by COVID-19
Become a member of the Unstereotype Alliance, a thought-leadership and action platform that seeks to eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes in all media and advertising content
We at LIONS are committed to sharing new stories and examples of brand activism to help propel the industry forward. If you have good examples to share, and believe your experience can help others in their work, please get in touch so we can consider your story for the next LIONS Live. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more inspiration please see Lionslive.canneslions.com