Nike has a proven track record of using its brand to take on all kinds of cultural issues, from LGBTQ rights to Colin Kaepernick to female athletes. This powerful ad they created in response to the killing of George Floyd has garnered worldwide attention, with 14 million likes on Instagram and 93 thousand retweets (and counting).
Nike. Facebook. Netflix. Citigroup. Twitter. Instagram. LinkedIn. YouTube. Reebok. TikTok. Starbucks. Disney. Amazon. Hulu. The number of companies that have spoken out against this latest shocking incident of systemic racism is a long one. #BlackLivesMatter #ShareBlackStories #InItTogether #UntilWeAllWin
In Search of Solidarity
Big brands and social media platforms alike have seized on this moment to express their solidarity with the black community and demonstrators. Businesses are donating millions of dollars to civil rights organizations.
Public statements and donations and social media posts are shared and retweeted because these words from global brands carry a certain amount of weight. It’s comforting, even encouraging, to think that things can change, that corporations will continue to champion issues of racial injustice and equality. That trust will take on a deeper meaning with the increasingly socially responsible and much more invested consumer.
Members of Gen Z, for one, feel strongly about the causes they believe in. They are the most politically active population to date. And almost 80% of Gen Zers say they will stop buying from brands that create campaigns they view as racist.
And it’s not just Gen Z. More than half of all consumers want to see brands become more involved in at least one cultural issue that doesn’t increase their bottom line, according to a report conducted by Edelman. We are seeing similar trends concerning values and personalization in study after study.
In Fjord Trends eye-opening 2020 annual report, “Realigning the Fundamentals,” the authors conclude: “However it plays out from here, one thing is likely: those who embrace the long-term view—by starting with their impact on the world and society, and embracing the systemic complexity of the world—will emerge as winners.”
In the end, of course, this isn’t about brands or campaigns or how effectively they’re using their platforms to promote cultural issues and call for change. It’s about accountability and authenticity. In this moment, brands have taken a bold stand. Let’s make sure they stay standing for what’s right.