For many decades, as consumerism grew at a rapid rate across the world, consumers aspired to purchase the best possible products, acquire as much of them as possible, and show those products off via social media.
Over the last 3+ years, however, a major paradigm shift has occurred where customers now care more about the mission of the brands they purchase from in addition to the quality of the product. I like to call it the anti-brand brand movement. Customers now want to be asked where they bought that shirt or sofa not so they can brag about the name of the brand, but so they can share a story about the artisan who made that item and how that item’s durability will decrease environmental impact over the next X number of years.
The brands that have taken up this mindset over the last 3+ years as an authentic value proposition have started to soar. Brands like GREATS and United by Blue intertwine their missions directly into the fabric of their messaging and actions, and use their platforms as an opportunity to improve society.
Conversely, corporate behemoths often have realities that run counter to their messaging, and are constantly being called out. Cancel culture is real, and while we can discuss and debate the political nature of cancel culture all day long, the reality is that inauthenticity will be sniffed out immediately, so brands should highlight their virtuous values and mission-driven ways even more. The ones that do will likely withstand the political winds and change consumer mindsets over the coming years and beyond.
With that, here are some recent examples that stood out to us during the Black Lives Matter protests over the past month: