Last week we introduced the topic of pushing past fear to authentically and clearly communicate your brand’s values, discussing the power that fear holds over us and why, in actuality, fear is a liar. This week, we’re continuing the conversation, taking a deep dive into the “how” of pushing past fear to effectively message your brand’s mission.
As a marketing agency we oftentimes experience our clients shying away from risk and being unwilling to put their values front and center despite those values being authentic to their brand.
After all, the fear of uncertainty leads us to seek out security, causing us to make decisions that are risk averse. Fear is a primal, base instinct that is intended to protect us from things as uncertain and heart pounding as the fear of failure.
But fear? For all its power and its hold over us, fear is a liar.
And with all the uprooting and life-altering events, milestones and discussions that occurred in 2020, and the years leading up to it, consumers are clamoring for the brands that they support to clearly take a stand for the causes and beliefs that impact them. The power of doing so has a number of both tangible and intangible positive benefits that vastly outweighs the risks posed by not acting out of fear.
A study from Accenture found that more than half of consumers who are disappointed with a brand’s words or actions (or lack thereof) on a social issue complain about it, with 47% walking away in frustration and 17% not coming back at all.
And the Edelman Trust Barometer recently found that “80% of consumers agree businesses must play a role in addressing societal issues; they want a company to take actions which... improve social conditions and make the world a better place."
This sentiment plays out in the real-world example of Lyft’s Cities Talk Back Campaign, which was brought to life as a follow up to additional actions Lyft took following former President Trump’s immigration ban in 2017, when he announced an immediate block on all refugees, while also denying U.S. entry to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.
When Uber failed to offer support in response to protests against the 2017 ban and received further significant negative attention from customers for the CEO’s role as an economic advisor to the former President, Lyft stepped up in a big way, despite the risks and fear of backlash from customers. The company donated $1 million to the ACLU and elevated the voices of those affected by the President’s actions.
The result? Lyft, for the first time ever, surpassed Uber in the Apple App store for downloads as customers deleted their Uber app and downloaded Lyft in droves.
As the calendar flipped from December to January, all of us at KSV did a little celebratory dance. Yes, a tough and chaotic year had come to an end, but we were celebrating for slightly different reasons: for our agency, the calendar flip meant a fresh look and a doubled-down commitment to fighting for a more sustainable existence through purpose-driven work and meaningful community partnerships.
Heading into the holiday season, KSV was tasked with developing a campaign unlike any other for its most-important client: Mother Earth.
If you’ve lived and worked through 2020, then the phrase “future-proofing” may sound like the biggest oxymoron of them all. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that plans change. Pivots are necessary. And planning for the future can sometimes mean planning to keep your business’s doors open for just one more day. Who has time to future-proof their business for next year when they’re just trying to survive 2020?
Topics: Customer-Centric Marketing, Innovation, B Corporation, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Content Marketing, Inspiration, Branding and Brand Value, Sustainability Marketing, Creative, D2C, In the News
Happy almost Thanksgiving! As we inch another day closer to a holiday season unlike any other, the team at KSV can’t help but reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. Even in a year where so much has been turned upside down, we find ourselves finishing each day with gratitude for what has remained the same: inspiring clients, innovative colleagues and a community dedicated to creating a better future.
As we prepare for a 2020-style Thanksgiving, we’d like to share a few stories bringing us an extra dose of inspiration this week, in the hopes that they do the same for all of you:
Brands Are Using Black Friday Boycotts to Highlight Sustainability Initiatives: Although several brands will spend Black Friday and the weeks after touting promotions and deep discounts, several others are switching things up this year, using the high-profile moment as an opportunity to highlight ongoing sustainability initiatives. For brands like Freitag, this means shining a spotlight on their newly launched bag swap platform, which allows customers to exchange backpacks and messenger bags with other customers as a way to encourage a second-life for a high quality product while also reducing waste.
This is Our Chance to Reclaim Cities From Cars: One positive thing that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic? A more bikeable, walkable and cleaner urban America. Reimagining public spaces has consistently been a part of the conversation around how urban areas rebuild in the wake of the virus. This article takes it a step further, painting a hopeful picture for the future of cities.
25 US Cities Land on CDP ‘A List:’ In spite of both the havoc wrought by the coronavirus and little-to-no support at the federal level, several cities in the US were recognized by the CDP for making progress toward their climate action goals. Progress from cities like Cleveland, OH and San Antonio, TX highlight just how, in the absence of national guidance, impactful and important state and municipal level initiatives toward carbon emissions reductions and the adoption of clean energy technologies can be in ensuring a better, brighter and cleaner future.
Oreo’s Proud Parent ad is a moving, resonant reminder that a loving world, no matter how complicated, starts with a loving home.
The fight for a more sustainable future in the age of the coronavirus and Black Lives Matter has uncovered an important truth: protecting vulnerable communities is critical to taking action against climate change. It's long overdue, but going forward, brands looking to fight for climate change will need to ensure social justice is a component of their climate action plan.
In the early 2010s, companies like Everlane and Warby Parker paved the way for the first generation of Direct to Consumer (D2C) brands, offering consumers a fully digital brand experience and new companies a relatively easy, innovative and scalable way to sell products and services. A storefront was not necessary, but a strong brand story was. A brick and mortar storefront was no longer an operational requirement for brands - all you needed was an online shop and a creative social media presence.
Never has the value of being a B Corp been more evident than in 2020, as a global pandemic and social change have taken center stage and communities around the world have realized the true benefits of using business as a force for good.
EnergyWire is KSV’s weekly insight into the consumer mindset when it comes to energy. It’s an honest conversation on the reality of their perceptions and motivations, and how energy services companies can use this insight to successfully engage customers.