Traditionally, many would suggest that to keep your customer base as wide as possible you shouldn’t alienate anyone by taking a social, political, or ethical stance. But with brand loyalty out the window, this attitude could lead marketers to miss opportunities to build stronger alignments with their customers.
And we’ve seen that this year. Nike was not the only company to take a political, cultural, or environmental stance in 2018 – Dicks Sporting Goods and Patagonia, among others, have made public commitments to corporate social responsibility (CSR).
We spoke to Julie Pender, Marketing Manager at Jim Beam Bourbon, who explained, “for spirits brands, [CSR] means sustainable sources of our water & agriculturally based ingredients, and now it means better recyclable packaging.”
We predict that 2019 will see even more brands decide to invest in ‘moral marketing’. While this could lead to stronger brand-customer relationships, it won’t be without risk.