Commerce Takes Social Issues Into Its Own Hands

In 2015, Doritos and Oreo stood up for LGBT rights. In 2017, brands from various sectors joined forces to support the Paris accord despite the U.S.’s exit. This year, gun control conversations are causing change at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart with these retailers personally taking it on themselves to raise the purchase age to 21.

Social issues are a powerful way for companies to not only live their mission and reinforce their values, but also connect with shoppers. Stacy’s support for women’s rights became consumer-facing in the past few years when they choose to change their packaging for the movement during March, which is also Women’s History Month. Outdoor brands like Patagonia and REI let consumers know about their passions through initiatives like 1% for the planet and #OptOutside. And companies like Mattel and Campbell’s are expressing their values through commercials that feature modern expressions of Barbie for girls today as well as same-sex parents sharing soup with their son.

While social issues can be powerful in breaking through the clutter in the marketplace, it can also be controversial. Companies that choose to take a stand must do so consistently and without falter. Supporting social issues cannot be seen as a stunt. Rather it must be woven into the brand values, CSR and more in perpetuity in order to truly make an impact on culture and with shoppers.

Contributed By: Kira Walstrom, Integer Denver

Image Source: Unsplash