Strategies for effectively engaging the new consumer-and four brands that are doing it right. The 21st-century consumer has arrived: more informed and ready to take action to improve the world. And just in time. Economic uncertainty, political upheaval, and social unrest are forcing even the most stalwart business leaders to reassess the role of business in society.At the same time, technology is creating opportunities for people to congregate in numbers never before possible and solve social problems collectively. Brands—the windows between consumers and businesses—are important platforms for organizing and activating this collective potential. Participation is the next stage of brand strategy.
Next-gen purpose-driven brands and corporate citizenshipConsumers are increasingly demanding that brands pursue a social mission and add meaning to our lives. It is no longer enough for brands to claim that they deliver an affordable product responsibly. They must have a point of view on the company’s role in society, and a clear and authentic strategy to engage its consumers around that vision. Millennials relentlessly pursue authenticity and agency; they are more informed, increasingly skeptical of cause marketing, and more engaged. With consumer activism on the rise, this poses significant risks for brands that tell a disingenuous story. It’s not enough to publish a glossy annual CSR report; businesses must understand that consumers want to actively participate with brands in the pursuit of a compelling vision for change.