Beyond Taking a Stand: The Benefits of Strategic Activism for Purpose-Driven Businesses

Brands taking stands is important. But to give people the purpose they crave requires more than a stand.

You probably already know that employees, customers, and investors want to be part of companies that bring purpose and action on important social and environmental issues. Heck, even Walmart is trying to get in on the action. Some research suggests that two out of every three consumers say it’s important for brands to take stands on social and political issues.

But taking a well-timed stand or position on an issue leaves so much value, media, and potential impact on the table. The real power of purpose happens when you go beyond a press release, beyond a per purchase donation, to engaging with people to take action and transform the system through our democracy.

If you want to create authentic purpose, strategic activism is your new best friend.

Strategic activism means engaging in a range of activities that are designed to influence public or corporate policy on social, environmental, and governance issues that are materially relevant to your organization and industry. In my experience planning and managing strategic activism campaigns it’s critical to know when and how to engage. Carefully considering relevance, as well as materiality, will help ensure that your customer engagement is authentic and empowering.

It takes time and energy to do it right, but the benefits of strategic activism are worthwhile.

Based on my experience working with purpose-driven companies, there are some tangible benefits that count as return on investment for authentic strategic activism campaigns. These benefits can include:

·      Strengthening brand reputation and recognition

·      Acquiring new customers or clients

·      Increasing customer loyalty and brand affinity

·      Increasing employee satisfaction

There are some great examples of brands that are leaders in strategic activism – Beautycounter and Patagonia immediately come to mind – and more are engaging everyday. We’ll explore the key elements of successful strategic activism is future blog posts.

Colin Price Consulting has over a decade of experience working with brands and advocacy organizations to plan and manage successful strategic activism campaigns. Let us help you navigate one of the next big things in responsible business – colin@colinpriceconsulting.com