What is brand purpose and why is it important to consumers? How do consumers respond when purpose is faked, as happens with so-called green-washing and woke-washing? Why are some marketers advocating that firms transition away from brand purpose and toward brand activism, and how can firms successfully make this transition? To help facilitate a discussion of these core issues, please read the assigned readings for class, watch the assigned video excerpt, and respond to the questions below
- Article: Finally, Brand Activism!
(https://www.marketingjournal.org/finally-brand-activism-philip-kotler-and-christian-sarkar/ (Links to an external site.))
2. Article: A true brand purpose doesnt boost profit, it sacrifices it https://www.marketingweek.com/mark-ritson-true-brand-purpose-doesnt-boost-profit-sacrifices/ (Links to an external site.)
3. Video: Brand purpose, Mark Ritson, watch minute12:18 to 19:44 (Note: Mark Ritson offers his unvarnished opinion of brand purpose and uses some profanity doing so. If profanity makes you uncomfortable, then skip this video excerpt):
Mark Ritson on what does and doesn’t matter in marketing
Your work should satisfy following requirements:
- Offer an example of a company you associate with genuine brand activism/purpose and one you associate with disingenuous brand activism/purpose (e.g., a green-washer, woke-washer). Explain why you chose your examples. (Please do not rely on examples that are already covered in articles or videos.)
- Some consumers respond to brand purpose/activism by boycotting the brand (i.e., deliberately not purchasing a brand and possibly denigrating it in protest, e.g., consumers burning Nike shoes on social media). Other consumers might respond by buycotting the brand (i.e., deliberately purchasing a company’s products in support of their policies/actions, or to counter a boycott). What factors might determine or moderate these extreme consumer responses to brand activism/purpose?
- Disingenuous brand activism/purpose is a transgression that can compromise consumer trust. When brands transgress, history tells us that some brands survive a transgression better than others. Why might consumers more easily forgive some brands transgressions more than others?
- Green-washing: https://youtu.be/CcGwX2Pp_JU
- Woke-washing: https://youtu.be/OfrCqnKbHKk
In responding to questions 2 and 3, you should consider buyer characteristics (e.g., culture, social groups, personality, demographics, etc ), the buyers black box (e.g., processes of attention, perception, memory, decision-making), aspects of the brand (e.g., its positioning, 4Ps), and/or other aspects of buyers environments (e.g., the technological, economic, political environment).