But shared beliefs are no longer enough.
One wrong move or word, and you could be deleted. Everything you spent years building starts to crumble.
The lasting effects of cancel culture, however, are debatable.
Goya is currently facing harsh criticism online after the company’s CEO said the country is “blessed” to have a leader like Donald Trump. This led to trending hashtags including #GoyaAway, and #BoycottGoya.
As Christina Adranly wrote in Adweek: “We behave much worse online than we do in real life. Perhaps nothing is ever truly canceled. Canceling a person or brand is conceptual and is an attack on the method, as opposed to the underlying value system. And because canceling has become so easy and frequent, cancel culture has become diluted.”
Short attention spans might allow you to survive being canceled, but that stain will remain -- potentially forever.
Every brand needs a mission statement and brand purpose that are more than just words on a website. The brand, and employees, need to live and breathe it.
Traditional corporate visions center around a company and its stakeholders But what about employees? What does a company stand for and how do workers connect with it?
Patagonia is a great example of a brand with a mission statement that’s backed up by action: “Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.”
Not everyone can be Patagonia. If your brand hasn’t forged a solid mission statement and set of beliefs, you should now be working on a crystal-clear set.
Brands must know their purpose, own their purpose and be prepared to be called out for their beliefs.
How was a company founded? Why was it started? What is its legacy? The latter question is something that brands such as Land O’Lakes, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, and Mrs. Butterworth are now addressing in real time. These questions can be difficult for brands to calculate, but it must be done.
How brands react and respond during a time of crisis will determine their fate.
McDonald’s is an example of a brand that recently did just that. During last month’s BET Awards, the company gave most of its media buy to Black activists and business owners for them to tell their individual stories.
On the flip side, we have Facebook. The social network behemoth has seen more than 750 advertisers, like Unilever, Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Ford and Walgreens pull their July ad spending to take a stand against Hate For Profit.
This is not the first time Facebook has turned people away, so it is possible for advertisers to return. But by walking away from Facebook, are we abandoning our consumers? Or are we using our platform and money to demand a better space for them?
We need marketing plans that ensure every person, every dollar, every media outlet, every influencer and every action is evaluated based on the worth it brings to the world.
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.