Yesterday’s companies almost universally steered clear of divisive political issues. Today’s companies steer directly into them – because they have to – at least if they want to reach the oh-so-coveted millennial generation.
If you’re looking to reach a wider, younger audience – it’s time to take stand, and then live it.
Want to know more? Ethos content marketing strategist Hannah Richards talks more about this new type of marketing in the video below. Watch it to learn more!
More of a reader? Here’s the transcript:
Hi, my name is Hannah Richards, and I’m a content marketing strategist here at Ethos.
Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about companies taking a stand on political issues, which I know can be touchy. A lot of brands are nervous about it, but the reality is that in today’s world it’s almost become a necessity for a lot of companies, especially in the specialty food marketing space, which we refer to as Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.
Advertising has almost become a partisan sport with companies taking on issues that 10 years ago they wouldn’t have touched with a 10-foot pole. Yet today’s companies are taking these issues head-on – issues like immigration, race, the environment, LGBTQ. Today, you see companies, even Fortune 500 and 100 companies – Nike is one that I’m sure everyone has seen in the news – are really taking these issues on and making them core to their brand.
Why would they do that? The reality is that today’s younger customers – Millennials – are demanding that. It’s not just about the quality of the product and the pricing anymore. They’re looking for companies whose values align with theirs. They want to know the story behind the story: Why do you do what you do? Where are you sourcing your product? Is it ethically sourced? What’s the impact on the environment? All these things matter when they are making a purchase, and they are willing to pay more – significantly more – for products and companies whose values align with theirs.
One of the things that we recommend to brands is to find something that is meaningful to you and live it throughout your whole brand. The key here is that you can’t just make this a marketing and advertising exercise. If you just choose a cause that you *think* people care about and donate a bunch of money to it, you are going to get chewed up and spit out. This kind of audience does their research. They know if you’re not truly living those values.
So you want to pick something that really matters to you and that you can really live throughout your brand – from the way you answer the phone, to the way you treat your employees, to how you treat your customers, to how you treat the people that are helping you source and create your product, to the people who manufacture it. All those things matter. Live that promise throughout your brand every day.
Are there going to be haters? There always have been, there always will be. There are going to be people who disagree with what you stand for, but the idea here is that when you stand for something, you deepen the relationship that you do have with the people who are aligned with those values. Those people are your core customers, and the people who are going to move your brand forward.
So, when people tweet you to say, “We’re unfollowing you because we disagree,” the answer is, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
Ethos is a multiplatform branding agency that develops and executes integrated marketing campaigns across multiple channels for companies inside and outside of Maine.
At Ethos, we believe that the most effective way to set a company’s marketing course is by finding its core truth – its ethos. We know that once we discover and communicate that core truth, we can truly make a difference for each client’s unique marketing and business objectives.
With Ethos, you get more than a marketing agency. You get a long-term partner whose goals are your goals.