Hey labelers, we think it’s time for you all to SPEAK up. This week, we’re bringing light to the importance of brand safety in terms of how to communicate content and responses correctly during these controversial times.
This concept is becoming very important in not only the Public Relations face of your company but also influences how your company pursues Marketing, Branding and Digital Strategies. Creative direction, campaigns and product launches have a lot of different creative elements that go into communicating the overall public perspective of the brand.
What is Brand Safety?
The importance of correct brand responsiveness and the call to action in relevant situations we are being faced with during these times. Brand Safety includes everyday responses to controversial comments and mentions regarding COVID-19 and the BLM Movement, making it an urgent time for companies to act upon this concept. Informing your consumer on brand safety (more here) is important because it allows the consumer to feel comfortable with their purchase making decision when interacting with your product.
Silence vs. Outspoken Action
If your brand is silent, you are allowing your customers to assume the natural position of the brand– and that’s never good! People are wanting to see the brand’s core values and are often associating their purchase making decisions with that.
When you stand for what you believe is predominantly right, regardless of the controversial topic, you are standing behind the values of your brand. The term, “All press is good press” directly applies here because as long as you stand true to your values, the reaction is going to benefit you through:
- Increase in sales
- Increase in activity and engagement
- Opportunity for more social impact.
When you control the narrative and speak out on controversial topics, more people are likely to engage with comments and stand in support, therefore allowing for greater social impact and resulting in higher sales.
Speaking Up Correctly
While you are encouraged to speak out, it is MOST important to make sure your messaging is clear, compassionate and considerate.
Some of the most out-of-the-box brands have messages that are safely communicated and slightly monetized upon. It’s possible to speak out against something in a tasteful way. Goop does an amazing job of directing their communication and content for very controversial topics with other collaborators/speakers on the subject. When doing so, they are controlling their narrative, educating and monetizing while keeping it tasteful and respectable. Some other great examples of companies that do this well are featured here.
However, we have seen this get out of hand when the message ignores major methods of communication, sensitivity and understanding.
A local example of this would be Arizona Foothills Magazine and how one person’s early spoken opinion affected the perception of their entire company. After the incident had been brought some serious attention online, AZ Foothills released an apology a few days later explaining the situation.
In addition, Anthropology had some initial challenges with their responsiveness during the BLM movement but cleared the air with this post. While it focused on the perspective of standing as an ally, they didn’t outright say “Black Lives Matter” or use the suggested hashtag to enhance the channel for education on the matter.
The above examples are great insights on what can go wrong even when you do speak out, but incorrectly and how this can affect your business.