Now more than ever consumers are turning their everyday purchases into a form of protest or demonstration of ideology to create change, sending strong signals to brands by using their purchasing choices as votes. How a brand produces and delivers its goods and who they align themselves with needs to be a clear and considered reflection of their brand values and beliefs for consumers to stay loyal to their brand.
A very poignant example of consumer activism currently playing out in America against one of the most overtly powerful brands in the country; the National Rifle Association in response to the latest tragic mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The surviving teenage students have founded the March For Our Lives movement and taken to social media; (a powerful vehicle for consumer protest) in a truly passionate and inspirational campaign creating a swell of support across the country demanding a meaningful change to gun-control reform and pressuring brands and political groups aligned with the NRA to cut ties and/or support change.
This time the momentum for gun-reform has shifted, the consumer protests are working and corporate America are listening and taking action. Big brands Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Allied Van Lines, MetLife and First National Bank of Omaha to name a few are showing consumers that their brand values are very much aligned to gun-control change by ending discounted rates to NRA members. With mass student rallies organised for March 24, I believe more brands will cut ties and stand in solidarity of gun-control reform, it may not happen over night but the-times-they-are-a-changing and brands have the power to affect social reform for the better by living and demonstrating their values.
Truly Deeply Founder David Ansett believes “the days of brands separating political associations from consumers have past, we now see every aspect of how a brand behaves as a reflection of its values and beliefs.” In this current climate of consumer activism brand values must become a key part of your marketing strategy and if you’re yet to define them “Now Is The Time” to align yourself to your tribe and create robust consumer loyalty.