As a millennial who dearly values the Gen-X mindset (people born between 1965 to 1984), I believe we are experiencing one of the most drastic changes in corporate America leadership. Brand loyalty has turned a new page and there are signs for what is to come — a corporate America revolution where brands not only become ambassadors for “good,” but in doing so consequently declare what is good and what is evil in our society.
The humanization of brands.
As a strategist at an agency who is on a journey to humanize brands, it is no surprise that I hold this perspective, however what is surprising is the recent events around the NRA and brand partnerships. It happened overnight, in a domino-like fashion, one brand after another. Do you wonder why?
What is most fascinating about this, is it gives us an opportunity to peek into the very process at how these brands are taking a “moral high ground,” and as a result of these actions I would argue they are critically reshaping and redefining the understanding of good and evil in our society.
Supporting the NRA is evil.
Regardless if this is true or not, this is the statement and posture these brands and many more have taken by announcing their “break-up” with the NRA via Twitter (another component to take note of.)
Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
A quick look at history:
“When President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union “the evil empire,” right-thinking persons joined in an angry chorus of protest against such provocative rhetoric. At other times Mr. Reagan has said that the United States and the Soviet Union ‘have different values,’ an assertion that those same persons greet at worst with silence and frequently with approval. I believe he thought he was saying the same thing in both instances, and the different reaction to his different words introduces us to the most important and most astonishing phenomenon of our time, all the more astonishing in being almost unnoticed: there is now an entirely new language of good and evil, originating in an attempt to get “beyond good and evil” and preventing us from talking with any conviction about good and evil anymore. Even those who deplore our current moral condition do so in the very language that exemplifies that condition.
The new language is that of value relativism, and it constitutes a change in our view of things moral and political as great as the one that took place when Christianity replaced Greek and Roman paganism.”
- Allan Bloom in “The Closing of the American Mind” (1987)
The next generation is here.
I believe it is important to recognize what is happening. The next generation has well established themselves as a force. While the brands may simply be executing a “Twitter PR stunt,” they are revealing a much deeper process that is happening. One where they are forced to humanize and connect with their audience at a much deeper level.
Examples of this are appearing more and more. Simply look at the advertising done during the XXIII Olympic Winter Games, or even Nike’s recent campaign, “EQUALITY.”
Brand loyalty has turned a new page and the new pressures to take sides on public matters is very clear. This is a sign for what is taking place — a corporate America revolution where brands not only become ambassadors for “good,” but in doing so consequently declare what is good and what is evil. While this is not a new concept, I would propose this is the next generation of branding.
What do you think?
Thanks for taking the few minutes to read my thoughts. Tell me what you think below, or hit me up on Twitter (🦁 Bōggie)