As marketers, that might be something that we have always wanted to believe, but ask the public on the street, and they would likely give a different answer.
But the world has changed. The concept of “Fake News” leaves people wondering who they can trust to guide them in understanding the world. I like to believe that most of us still have faith in the media to do their jobs and check their sources. But with so much information being shared through social media from sources that people have never heard of, your online social community is no longer just a filter bubble that reinforces your existing beliefs, it is an echo chamber of opinions and propaganda which is increasingly difficult to unpick.
This is information overload. It is polarizing people worldwide, and it is leaving a vacuum of trust in it's wake.
As brands and marketers, we took for granted that globalization was happening and it was a good thing. It meant our products and services would have greater reach. Our job was therefore to establish relevance and trust and simply follow the natural order as we expand to new markets. This polarization however, means that we now have two camps: one that maintains a continued belief that globalization is inevitable and beneficial and one which is increasingly nationalistic.
It's a conversation that can’t be avoided as politics seems to have replaced the weather as the thing people talk about most. But brands have traditionally tried to steer clear of politics so as to avoid the dangers of alienating a potential consumer. But if the political center disappears, then where does your brand sit?
Nike, Starbucks, Diesel and have all stepped into the frame to communicate their values. In the case of Diesel they have done it through advertising alone with “Make Love not Walls”. Starbucks on the other hand has taken a stand through policy by telling the world that diversity helps their strength and they will support it through the hiring of immigrants. And then there is Nike who have done both – communicating to their staff that they will support them regardless of legal changes, and communicating externally through their 90 second film “Equality”.