Nowadays, consumers are more aware of blatant marketing than ever. They also have the medium of social media to call brands out for publicly supporting causes they don’t believe in. Here are a few examples of why brand authenticity matters.
Co-op is one of our favourite brands as it lives and breathes its brand messaging and consistently puts people and the planet ahead of profits.
From compostable plastic bags in store and supporting small projects with its Local Community Fund, to having the most eco-friendly building in the world, Co-op’s brand authenticity sets a great example.
"Buy Fairtrade now". Sums it up nicely. And a shout out to @coopuk who reward #Fairtrade producers for every single cocoa bean Coop use in producing every single own brand product. Just wish other supermarkets would have followed that lead by now and support struggling farmers. https://t.co/O14s8FWaAQ
— Brad Hill (@bradhtweet) July 7, 2019
Are you really proud to support Pride?
The biggest offenders are the brands that come out, rainbow flags waving high, for June’s Pride Month, and then disappear on 1 July.
London Pride sponsor – Barclays – trades all over the world, including many Middle Eastern countries where LGBTQ+ people could face the death penalty.
The bank’s UK arm supported the parade, but social media users questioned whether the brand’s motivations were genuine. Though Barclays operates globally, it seemingly stays silent on its self-proclaimed ‘ally’ status in many countries.
Comedian Joe Lycett challenged the authenticity of the support, asking Barclays to fly the LGBTQ+ flag globally.
.@barclays hi. I notice you’re sponsoring London pride. I understand it probably flogs current accounts here but it’s still illegal to be LGBTQ+ in many countries you trade in. Could you demonstrate your loyalty is universal and raise flags globally this weekend? Love, A Queer 🌈
— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) July 1, 2019
Barclays didn’t respond to the tweet, and the brand’s silence says it all…
However, other brands did do Pride right. ASOS donated 25 percent of all net profits from the ASOS x GLAAD collaboration to the LGBTQ+ charity.
As someone who wants to live in an ever progressive society, ASOS have collabed with GLAAD n 25% of the proceeds go to LGBTQ awareness and positive change and equality in general and I think that's cool af and hope we can all agree that this stuff is worth buying pic.twitter.com/v9wDiOsvFo
— JB (@JoshBrown1996x) October 9, 2018
Representing a brand
It’s not just the external communication that matters as businesses are judged on their partnerships.
Skincare brand Nivea made the news this week after it’s advertising agency, FCB, cut ties on a 100 year partnership after someone at Nivea said: “We don’t do gay” during a conference call.
While it’s all bad for Nivea as the brand manages damage control, FCB came out on top. Dropping a 100-year partnership and $300m a year contract is a huge call to make as it put brand values before profits.
As for Nivea, it was cancelled. Countless LGBTQ+ people and allies have taken to social media to share images of their Nivea products in the bin.
@NIVEAUSA dont do gay? We dont do nivea. #nivea pic.twitter.com/6weyf9Q9p1
— Andreas Munkholm (@Andrmunk) July 6, 2019
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