Should Your Business Take a Political Stance? Here Are 3 Brands That Did–And How Their Customers Reacted

Should Your Business Take a Political Stance? Here Are 3 Brands That Did–And How Their Customers Reacted

In the past, brands took a first date approach to politics: don't talk about them (or you'll be asking for trouble). But as society has evolved, con

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In the past, brands took a first date approach to politics: don’t talk about them (or you’ll be asking for trouble). But as society has evolved, consumers–particularly younger millennials and in Gen Zers–are looking to brands to put their money where their mouth is and speak out on the cultural issues that are deeply affecting the world. 

Here are 3 brands that took a political stance and are reaping the rewards for it: 

1. Gucci Gives Back and Gains a New Audience 

In 2018, Gucci creative director, Alessandro Michele, made a statement announcing his love and support for the March For Our Lives gun-control rally and donated $500,000 to the march.  

The luxury brand made another political statement with the Cruise 2020 fashion show where one of its blazers had the pro-choice statement “My Body, My Choice” written across the back. Gucci doubled down on its commitment to women’s rights on Instagram where it discussed funding projects that support the freedom of individual choice and maternal health. So far, they have raised over $15 million for projects around the world that help girls and women.

Gucci started off 2018 with an impressive 49 percent in sales growth – and it was in no small part to its huge success among millenials. Millennials, who are also considered “the world’s most powerful consumers,” are a generation who stand up for change. They appreciate Gucci’s authenticity and how the brand uses its voice to do more than turn a profit. 

2. Patagonia Stays True to Its Mission 

Patagonia is a great example of a brand that has been speaking out on politics before it became acceptable. Its mission statement is, “We’re in business to save our home planet.” 

The outdoor gear and apparel retailer donated Black Friday profits to environmental groups in 2016 – which ended up earning them $10 million in sales and winning 25,000 new shoppers. In 2018, they donated $10 million from what they called an “irresponsible tax cut” to groups committed to air, land, and water and discovering solutions to the climate crisis. 

3. Nike Takes a Stand Against Police Brutality 

Last year, Nike made a bold political statement by featuring Colin Kaepernick in an ad titled “Dream Crazy” for its 30th-anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback, became well-known for protesting police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games. 

Although the ad initially received a great deal of hatred, Nike knew the people who spoke out against the campaign weren’t its target market in the first place – and the brand’s $6 billion increase in overall value shows they were right. Most recently, the ad has won an Emmy for outstanding commercial. 

At the content company I co-founded, Masthead Media, we help our clients decide if taking a political stance will be impactful for them through market research and studying their target audience. What’s your take on making politics a part of your brand messaging?

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

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