Facebook ad boycotts, alignment with #BlackLivesMatter, ditching names like Aunt Jemima: social activism is the latest must-have for brands.
But should you jump on the bandwagon? And how do you make the shift without getting labeled as inauthentic, especially if your brand has never talked about these issues before?
Andrea Fryrear, author of Mastering Marketing Agility: Transform Your Marketing Teams and Evolve Your Organization and a leading authority on marketing agility says now is the time to speak up, even if you never have before. But brand activism is a strategic shift, not just a change in tactics. You need to master the strategic shift so you’re not just fast to fail.
Fryrear offers these pointers, drawing on the agile marketing discipline:
Get a strategy – Strategy matters even when you’re responding to sudden change. Decide first what the acceptable variances are of your existing messaging and how they align with your identity. Draft later.
Balance agility and stability – Make slight, incremental adjustments to your marketing plans rather than diving in to take every imaginable new initiative right away
Learn, iterate and improve – As you start to feed out new messaging, gauge reactions and outcomes. See what’s working and what’s not. Get better as you go.
Commit for the long term – The strategic shift to brand activism is ongoing. Make it a real commitment then take the time to sit with it, questioning your choices every step of the way.