Photo by Benedikt Geyer on Unsplash
The State of the Story 2020: When Brands Take A Stand
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"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right."
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can."
—Arthur Ashe (American Tennis Player)
As stories of racial injustice permeate every channel, marketers across industries are at the front lines of crafting their own company’s responses. Our community of marketers has always taken seriously the responsibility to tell honest and diverse stories; but now more than ever, the pressure is on to deliver. It’s clear we can play a pivotal role to lead systemic change, advance the conversation, inspire action, and impact the culture.
Yet, absent real accountability, this moment could also pass us by. There’s justifiable cynicism that this movement that holds such historic potential –that has ignited global communities to take action– could be dismissed with performative allyship: executives kneeling for photo ops, making one-time donations, posting social media slogans... without self-examination or addressing the critique of their own organizations, without making real commitments to lasting, meaningful change.
As a continuation of our multi-year conversation on brand purpose and mission, on July 9, 2020, we hosted a Fireside Chat on these tough topics. How are brand strategies evolving to reflect these complex, timely topics? What actions are marketing leaders taking to demonstrate a true commitment to becoming anti-racist? Many are broadening the diversity within their campaigns, connecting with communities within their customer base, and supporting inclusivity within their teams. But beyond those foundational measures, what work can marketers do to use storytelling as a powerful tool for shifting mindsets?
We had invited extraordinary leaders from our community to share their strategies with us and to help answer questions on how to tackle this important challenge.
You can watch the session on-demand here.
Megan (and the entire team at Magnet Media)