Is taking a stance better than silence? Consumers say yes.
“Silence is golden,” the adage goes. But is it always? When it comes to brands’ take on cultural, political, and social issues, sometimes silence can be deafening and consumers want to see brands show their true colors.
Silence is a missed opportunity to connect with consumers: While some brands may prefer the comfort of security, quiet brands could face fading into obscurity.
What do successful campaigns have in common? They pick causes that are relevant, that resonate with their audiences, and that align with their brand values. Misunderstanding your audience, or going for an obscure cause that’s unrelated to your brand, could spell trouble.
It’s never too late to change
Even brands that can seem traditional can shift their messaging.
For example, Victoria’s Secret, a brand known for lingerie, usually hosts an annual fashion show, broadcast on TV. But that show won’t happen in 2019, due to a combination of TV ratings falling, the CEO’s transphobic comments, and the brand not historically being very inclusive of diverse body types.
But the brand is taking steps to repair its image. In August 2019, Victoria’s Secret hired its first transgender model, to the delight of many pushing for more inclusivity in fashion. Even brands with deeply ingrained traditions can change take a stand on some issues.
Victoria’s Secret is up against some serious challenges, not least from the rapidly rising Fenty, Rihanna’s lingerie line known for inclusiveness. The chart below compares the share of voice for Savage X Fenty and Victoria’s Secret. Since Savage X Fenty’s launch in 2018, it has proven to be a strong competitor, eating away at Victoria’s Secret’s share of voice.