Taking a Stand with Your Brand


Does your brand walk its talk?

How many fast fashion brands guilty of contributing to the climate crisis have you seen posting on #EarthDay, then post their new collection made in a sweat shop that pays its workers $5 a day? What about #BlackoutTuesday, where over 28 million people on Instagram posted a black square in solidarity with George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement? Many brands who participated quickly resumed posting sales and new products, and it was business as usual. Let’s not forget Pride Day, where big and small brands alike changed their social media icons to a rainbow with their logo, then back again the week after.

People notice this, they see through it, and they’re starting to call it out. With the rise of social media and its facilitation of accessibility to brands, businesses are accountable for their actions more than ever. They can no longer hide behind faceless entities and private boardrooms. People demand transparency and authenticity.

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Activism involves leadership, which is built on trust. Trust consists of confidence and ethics linked to doing what’s right. The 2020 Endelman Trust Barometer finds 81% of consumers expect brands to do the right thing, and 71% say placing profit before people will lose their trust forever. Ethics (comprising of integrity, purpose, and dependability) are three times more important (76%) to a company’s trust than its competence (24%).

Brand activism is a brand’s actions to direct or promote social, environmental, economic, or political reform with the aim of advocating change based on the brand’s beliefs, purpose, and values. In 2021, people are becoming increasingly drawn to brands that are conscious of the biggest and most urgent issues of our time, and brands that are shifting their offerings to minimise their impact on the planet. People are also more attune to brands that partake in activism and can very quickly gauge if they’re genuine or performative.

According to Deloitte, brand activism is paving the road to growth. Its report says, “By leading with purpose, being authentic in how they tell stories and articulate their impact, focusing on all humans and imbibing empathy, many of these companies are outpacing their competitors and leaving an impact on everyone they touch.”

For a brand to walk its talk it must first define its values clearly and succinctly. Those values form the brand’s foundation and is what will drive it to lead authentically, generate profit for purpose, sustain long-term growth, and create lasting change.

As a company that uses its brand as a form of activism, Mek stands for its values of ethics, sustainability, and community. We use design as a catalyst for change and build future-ready brands with social and environmental impact.

What does your brand stand for?

If you need help defining your brand’s values and what it stands for , contact us for a chat. We’d love to hear from you.

Image: Colin Kaepernick
Source: Twitter
Campaign: Dream Crazy, Nike
Creative: Wieden+Kennedy
Video ︎︎︎ Watch here