Drawing the line between ‘wokewashing’ and corporate advocacy

More consumers want companies to address societal problems, including climate change and crumbling infrastructure.

Additionally, more than half want to buy from brands that take stands on social issues.

At the same time, consumers are increasingly sceptical about these partnerships, seeing them as marketing stunts. It’s called ‘wokewashing’.

I’m a professor of brand responsibility, and my forthcoming research investigates brands and their relationships with social issues, including the importance of both allies and advocates.

Allies or advocates

In marketing terms, allies are members of a dominant social group that bring attention to important social issues.

A company can serve as an ally when it works to increase awareness about issues affecting marginalised groups.

Advocates take a more active role, working to change political, economic and social systems.

Companies can be advocates when they create campaigns to promote institutional change and provide financial support for groups engaged in creating social change.

Yoplait’s campaign to address patronising attitudes toward mums is an example of corporate advocacy.

Another is Stella Artois’ partnership with Water.org to end the global water crisis. This partnership has already raised more than US$3 million in donations to give almost a million people access to clean water, according to a spokesperson from Water.org.

Pride month

However, corporate adventures into social issues aren’t always well received or thought out.

For example, consider this year’s pride celebrations. The number of brands participating in pride was at an all-time high in 2019. Brands, including T-Mobile, Alaska Airlines and MasterCard, featured supportive messages and announced donations to support the queer community.

Pride sponsors also included brands Equinox and SoulCycle. Customers organised a boycott of the brands on August 7, 2019, after the chairman of their parent company announced he is hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump, who advocates say is anti-LGBTQ.

Some LGBTQ community members did not welcome large brand sponsorships to pride, arguing that sponsorships take the focus away from issues of LGBTQ marginalisation. These brands were not seen as authentic advocates, as they were not contributing directly to LGBTQ causes, but instead were paying for exposure.

They argued that brands don’t really care about the community, pointing to a lack of supportive messages throughout the rest of the year.

There are also concerns from members of the community that brands associate themselves with pride while taking political stances that harm the LGBTQ community. More companies may be facing criticism of this kind as America approaches its upcoming election cycle.

The importance of allies

Some companies may use causes to pander to consumers and deserve to be called out, but my research shows that corporate allies and advocates can have an important role in society.

Both engagement through allyship and advocacy continue to be important to keep issues in the spotlight in order to create significant social change.

I’m finding in my research that brands connecting with social issues can be a win-win. Consumers become aware of important social issues that may lack media exposure and brands connect with like-minded consumers in a more authentic way.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-au/money/company-news/drawing-the-line-between-wokewashing-and-corporate-advocacy

Business Technology

There are many options available in the marketplace, but make sure you find the right software technology for your business.

From free solutions for small businesses to sophisticated tools that can help a business become more efficient.

Here are four recommendations from leading comparison site Capterra

monday.com is a business management tool to manage all parts of your business. Create structures to plan your team workload, manage your projects, clients, and much more. It makes it fun and easy for everyone to collaborate, focus on what’s important, and get more done at work. It’s the first visual tool of its kind and shows you exactly where things stand at a single glance. Finally get rid of painfully long email threads, cut down on meetings, and get more done together.

NetSuite is the world’s #1 cloud ERP solution, providing a unified platform to streamline all business processes, like accounting, CRM, and e-commerce. With built-in business intelligence, reporting, and real-time visibility across your organisation, NetSuite empowers businesses of all sizes and industries to unleash growth, reduce IT costs, and eliminate operational inefficiencies — allowing you to focus on key, revenue-generating decisions, rather than worry about your back-end systems.

Easy to use and teach, Pike13 streamlines administrative tasks so that you can spend more time focusing on clients. The mobile-friendly Pike13 platform allows class-based businesses like strength and conditioning gyms, yoga and pilates studios, music and dance schools, and more to manage everything from clients and schedules to billing and payroll. Smart reporting offers actionable insights about business health, and a client app makes it easy to engage with clients.

Scoro is an end-to-end business management solution which allows professional and creative services to control their entire workflow from one place. Scoro provides all the tools you need to fully manage your business: project management, work scheduling & tracking, taskboards & lists, contact database & CRM, quoting and billing, advanced reporting, real-time dashboards, and more. You’ll have a complete overview of your business. Sign up for a 14-day free trial to see for yourself!

To find the right solution for your business and a more in depth look at the software tools available, then visit https://www.capterra.com/ for a wider range of options.