By Payton Coon [Linkedin]
A – Authenticity is important because it builds trust for the consumer. If a brand’s voice, imagery, tone, and themes are consistent, you will come off as authentic. Real authenticity comes when the brand’s purpose is defined and carried out through all daily business activities.
B – B Corp
C – Courage. Being a courageous brand means stepping out and campaigning for change. Knowing that some people will probably be against you but doing it anyway. Being courageous is putting the brand’s purpose before profit and standing for what you believe in.
D – Diversity. It is important to have a variety of perspectives within an organization. Whether it’s race, gender, income, background, or ability, diversity is key to making sure any one group of people isn’t left out or disregarded.
E – Empathy. Brand responsibility is all about empathy. Consumers want to connect with a brand on a personal level. By being compassionate, genuine, and transparent, a brand can resonate with its audience on an individual level.
F – Fast Fashion is one of the least sustainable industries. Producing clothing so quickly increases waste, dyes, electricity, and many other things. Today, thankfully, there are many alternatives such as upcycled apparel that can be opted for. They might even be a little more affordable. If possible, try shopping second-hand; mending clothes instead of throwing them out; or buying from sustainable clothing brands.
G – Greenwashing
H – Heider’s Balance Theory is a tool used to figure out if a brand aligns with a person/event/social issue. All three points need to be balanced to work.
I – Impact. When you are given a megaphone, do something positive with it. Brands have huge platforms and the ability to make an impact on their local community and the world around them.
J – Ben & Jerry’s has become the poster child of brand responsibility. Take a peek at their website to see why.
K – Key Stakeholders. It is important to take into consideration all your stakeholders along with shareholders. Stakeholders are anyone who will be impacted by your business decisions, whether it be consumers, community members, the c-suite, or lower-level employees.
L – Long-term. Brands that focus on long-term value are slower to grow at the beginning, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a high-growth company. It just takes a little more time. Being a responsible brand takes a long-term outlook.
M – Mission Statement. Every company should have a mission statement. It’s a short statement of why the organization exists. A responsible brand’s mission is about more than just making a profit. It stands for something.
N – Now is the time to make these changes. It’s more important than ever for brands to be responsible.
O – The Overton Window is a tool that puts all the social issues of the time on a continuum and ranks them by how acceptable they are to discuss in public. Responsible brands take radical ideas and use their platform to bring them into the conversation.
P – Purpose Driven. Bring purpose-driven means that a brand’s purpose is the core of its identity. They operate on all levels of business with their purpose in mind first and profit comes secondary.
Q – Asking Questions. There are many questionaries that can help you answer the question: is this brand responsible?
R – Resilience. Resilient brands can adapt, problem solve, and respond to unexpected changes. Many brands were tested during the pandemic, but the resilient ones adapted and thrived.
S – Sustainability
T – Transparency
V – Values. Brand Values are the core things that a company stands for and believes in. They act as guiding moral principles and they should dictate a brand’s identity, personality, and messaging.
W – Workplace Culture. It is part of a brand’s responsibility to make sure everyone in feels safe and valued in their workspace.
X – Cross(x)-cultural. Every market contains different cultural or ethnic groups. When making a campaign make sure that you are not disregarding any groups of people. It is important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean skin color, but cross-cultural beliefs and values as well.
Y – You. What can YOU do? As a consumer, purchasing from and supporting responsible brands will send the message that our expectations have shifted. We expect all brands to be transparent, responsible, and authentic.
Z – Gen Z. Research shows that Gen Z is redefining brand expectations. Their preferences include transparency, trust, and brand responsibility. Gen Zers value brands that hold opinions and take bold stances on certain key issues.