Brands Face Difficult Paths in Navigating Social Issues

Social issues are so interwoven into 21st-century culture, but whether it’s Black History Month, Women’s History Month, AAPI Heritage Month, or Pride Month brands have difficulty traversing the topic. Many brands want to be active on social issues, but consumers are wary to trust firms’ intentions and believe them to be virtue signaling. For instance, a study showed that the 28 brands that made the 15% pledge had virtually no impact on their brand’s perception. Brands need to be aware of the long path for these issues in order to be perceived as authentic. Moreover, they need to make noticeable improvements if they want to create benefits of their perception. In the meantime they will take the heat: Nike got lots of backlash for their support of Kaepernick, however, in the long run this has garnered goodwill toward Nike when it comes to promoting social justice.