Social issues and boosting a brand – More companies taking a stand

Social issues and boosting a brand – More companies taking a stand

July 16, 20192 min read

Procter & Gamble this weekend put out a full-page ad in the New York Times supporting equal pay – In fact, the company urged the US Soccer Federation to “be on the right side of history.” P & G also gave $529,000 (which equates to $23,000 for each of the 23 players on the United States Women’s National Soccer Team) to the Players Association to help close the gender pay gap.

Indiana University Kelley School of Business clinical professor of marketing Kim Saxton says this is an excellent move for Secret and P & G. 

“This is brilliant. The Secret brand is all about being strong but 'made for a woman.' It makes sense for the brand to stand up for the very women it serves,” said Saxton. “I was a bit surprised at one level, because P & G is not typically a risk-taking brandBut as long as they stay consistent to the brand, know their target audience and what is important to that audience – which this clearly does -- It’s a brilliant move.”

“We now have brands who are willing to take a stand on social issues,” Saxton continued. “In the past, brands may have steered clear of jumping into the conversation if it could offend someone. Now, brands are realizing that coming down on one side of a cause or another has worked well for Nike. Nike has taken flack for taking a stand on a number of issues, but they’ve stood strong and decided that’s what their brand’s about. If you help your target audience accomplish their goals, they will support you back, and that’s what’s happening here."

Pay equity is just one issue that has come to the forefront as of late. Nike has also seen its brand benefit substantially when it decided to express its support for former NFL quarterback- turned-activist Colin Kaepernick. In fact, being on the ‘right’ side of that issue has some analysts pointing out it boosted the company’s value by close to 3 billion dollars.

Social issues and marketing are emerging as a new trend. There are rewards, but there are also serious consequences as well.

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Kim Saxton is a marketing strategy professor who believes marketers should make data-driven decisions to improve their effectiveness. Kim is available to speak with media regarding this topic – simply click in her icon to arrange an interview.

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