Brands Reflect Social Change

Peter Jones Wu Wei

Thanks to MJ Braide for her (Twitter) lead to this article on Ten Trends in Branding, 2009 Social Change edition. It is always good to keep up with this side of the industry.

Branding Change

Here is a bit of #9 as an example:

Ethical Consumerism has arrived and businesses have noticed. Consumers are bombarded with choices. Faced with two branded options, the one that offers them the opportunity to support their community or a good cause will increasingly win. Especially as economic pressures limit individuals’ ability to make outright donations to their favorite charitable organizations, consumers will be drawn to brands that help them effortlessly give back. More brands are catching on to this trend and offering such initiatives. They’re also making sure we know about it. Just as brands want to garner positive associations for their do-gooder efforts, likewise consumers are more boldly showing their support – in some cases by literally wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

Project RED has enabled some of the world’s most sought after brands such as Apple, American Express, Starbucks, Gap, Microsoft and Hallmark to come together as partners, producing RED products for which 50% of profits are donated towards the distribution of antiretroviral medicine in Africa. Target has recently launched the Do 5% Good campaign donating five percent of its revenues (over $3 million per week) back to the communities in which it does business. eBay’s World of Good supports socially responsible shopping by enabling individuals from around the world to sell their ethical products globally – a growing $200 billion industry.