Skip to main content

Why brands don’t stand up against Dolce & Gabbana?

This week Dolce & Gabbana made some controversial statements against adoption by gay couples.  They said that the only family is the “traditional” family with straight parents, one and that children born to gay couples via IVF are “synthetic.” Celebrities such as Elton John, Madonna, and Ricky Martin responded with a crusade to boycott Dolce & Gabbana products.

Now, here is the question: Why is it that brands that stand for gay rights such as Amazon, Kenneth Cole and Absolut Vodka have yet to weight in?  Today, we expect brands to have a sense of purpose and be willing to advocate for it when matters.

I understand that one way to respond is by not responding. By ignoring the statement , one can avoid giving additional attention to it.   However, as the conversation grows, consumers expect brands to be part of that conversation and to have a point of view. This not only makes business sense, it makes people sense.

Today, it is really hard to get people’s attention. A tsunami of branded content surrounds consumers. If a brand constantly occupies neutral ground, it may see a slow drift into obscurity. Add to the fact that 73% of Millennials believe that businesses should share a point of view about issues. And that 73% think businesses should influence others to get involved in an issue (MSL Group, February 2014). Therefore, weighing in on the issues that are part of brand’s core values makes business sense.

People don’t want ads, they want conversations. To be human in a digital world means expressing your views in the right moment, not three months later as a part of an advertising campaign.

In summary, brands need to compete at the cultural level to be relevant. This means they need to be in sync with the issues that matter and have the capacity to respond in real time. This is a different type of marketing­–one that it is real, live and human. So speak up, socially-conscious brands. Your audience won’t wait forever.


Popular posts from this blog

The Irrational Power of Nudge Brands

Nudge brands are brands built on interactions, not attitudes. They are mostly defined by experiences, not TV campaigns. They are designed around people's inconsistencies and errors, not for machines. They are simple, not complex. They like to break things into small chunks that are less daunting than big tasks. They focus on changing behavior, not generating awareness and interest. The Paris metro system card is a nudge brand. It is designed against human errors. You can use the card in any direction. IKEA is a nudge brand. It uses the power of personal investment. The more involved people are in creating something, the better they feel about the end product. Ryanair is a nudge brand. It chunks the whole purchase process. They lock you in with a low 'seat price' first to get a mental commitment. Then, they start to add the extra charges in bite-sized 'chunks.' Hare Krishna is a nudge brand. It is built on the reciprocity rule by giving away daisies. People should …

The Curse of Advertising Resources

With more platforms, more products and more content who are trying to reach a disengaged audience, it is becoming harder and harder for brands to stand out. Conventional practices are no longer working. People don't watch TV as much as they used to, so they don't see commercials.  They don't click on banner ads. They don't pay attention to billboards ads. And they don't trust brands' messages. Part of the problem is that we are too dependent on traditional ad resources, which limits the realm of our creativity. To thrive in this new environment, we, ironically, need the freedom of a tight brief: what can you do with no budget for mass media?  Or limited marketing communications dollars?  To make a comparison, traditional advertising is a lot like countries and economies that rely on oil. This reliance handicaps innovation. Countries with a vast amount of natural resources tend to have (1) less economic growth and (2) worse development rates than other countrie…

The Engineering of Digital Consent

Today, we build brands through social interactions. People opinions online shape our decisions on what brands should we buy or endorse. 90% of customers said that online reviews influence their buying decisions. Our challenge is that consumers don't pay attention and trust the message coming from brands. So, how do we affect the opinion of others in this environment? In marketing, we spend a lot of time and money creating advertising with the hope that it goes viral. However, most of the campaigns have little influence in today's consumers. Many campaigns have even the oppositive effect, with consumers sharing negative opinions or blocking advertising altogether. Changing behavior is hard. I don't think we have a silver bullet to influence people online, but we can learn best practices from behavioral science to increase our chances. Getting a little better in predicting behavior can make a big difference. Here are four behavioral principles that we should consider when c…