Is it authentic?
Whatever the matter at hand – whether it’s Wimbledon or the #MeToo movement – you’ve got to realistically ask whether it matters to your brand.
If it does, you can create genuine affiliations that consumers will accept and applaud. Take Absolut Vodka, a brand recognised as an LGBT champion. The brand has earned the support of the LGBT community, and not just because of rainbow bottles, queer celebratory advertising and sponsoring Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Absolut has consistently supported the LGBT movement since the 1980s.
But if you’re not being authentic, backlash awaits.
We’ve all seen – and cringed at – Pepsi’s faux social justice advert where Kendall Jenner halts police brutality with a can of Pepsi.
It was destroyed on social media and media outlets for its poor attempt to endorse ‘unity, peace and understanding’, and was swiftly axed. Which just goes to show, if consumers smell insincerity or pomposity, they’ll make their voice heard. And they have the power to damage your carefully guarded brand reputation.