Dipanjan Chatterjee, VP, Principal Analyst
For today’s consumers, silence is not nearly enough. Sixty percent of US consumers expect brands to take a position on racial justice; that number jumps to 78% for 18–34-year-olds. Listen to this episode of What It Means, in which VP and Principal Analyst Dipanjan Chatterjee discusses how brands can respond to social justice issues in ways that ring true to consumers, employees, and society at large.
Just a few years ago, brands weren’t facing such intense pressure to respond to societal issues. But as the relationships between consumers and top brands shifted, so did consumers’ expectations. 2020’s top brands (e.g., Facebook, Amazon, and Alphabet) are omnipresent in consumers’ day-to-day lives. That closeness creates a sense of humanness that drives increased scrutiny around brands’ values and actions.
Even brands that aren’t consumer-facing must contend with this, as employees increasingly want to work for companies that represent and advocate for the values they believe in. Thirty-nine percent of workers will not work for a company that they don’t consider inclusive.
To be successful in this new environment, brands can start by addressing previous stumbles. Without clearing the air, statements and actions on social justice issues can seem hypocritical or inauthentic. Next, develop a systematic values framework to determine how your brand will respond to sociopolitical issues, which will help avoid missteps during flashpoint moments. For more advice, listen to the full episode.