Brand v Cause

Posted on May 23, 2012 by


As we entered 2012, we talked about our combined desire to see this series focus on how we as a wider community can spur greater social change. During that chat, we touched several times on a topic that deserves focus all its own: the idea of Brand vs Cause. Specifically, we wanted to know which best sparked social change.

A true reflection of the diversity of our community, opinions on this varied and the conversation that began to flow begs further exploration. So, here’s our chance.

To recap, there were three camps that emerged back in March:

  1.  Team Brand Trumps Cause: led by the thought that people need to identify with who is bringing the change before jumping on board.
  2.  Team Cause Trumps Brand: driven by the idea that organizations and companies should be willing to set aside their own identity to better collaborate toward bringing greater change.
  3.  Team Brand + Cause: a hybrid theory that feels causes benefit from leveraging brands that set out to bring about change.

There are likely more, and we’d love to hear them today!

With that framing in mind, here are some things for us to consider:

  • Which do you find most effective in sparking social change – focusing on brand or the cause?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of each?
  • What’s the impact of each?
  • Are they mutually exclusive? Or should they be?
  • How does (or should) “cause marketing fit into this”?

This is a topic I’m especially invested in and am thrilled to see us take on. Today, however, I’ll be tuning in from 30,000 feet while the stunningly amazing Kristy Graves (@kg) will be manning the chat from the ground and rocking the guest mod seat.

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