What Brand Activism Could do for Your Property Business

With bushfires terrorising large parts of our nation this summer, the country saw not only individuals reach out a helping hand, but businesses too.

According to research from the World Media Group, brand activism is one of the leading marketing trends of 2020 (we recently wrote about this topic and other marketing trends to look out for this year). We thought we’d look into this topic in more detail and see if this, potentially, could be something worth investing in for property businesses.

To make sure we’re all on the same page, let’s start by defining what brand activism is. Brand activism is when a company or organisation engages in a political, social or economic issue to show its customers where their values and/or beliefs lie. It can be anything from financial support to actively engaging in conversations on a particular topic.

There are multiple reasons why a company might want to practice brand activism. One reason is to appeal to millennials. Research has found that 91% of millennials would switch brands to a one that’s associated with a cause they care about, and over 70% of millennials have said they want a job where they feel like their work matters. These are high numbers in two pretty important areas for achieving success now and in the future.

But brand activism doesn’t come without risks of course. Depending on the issue you choose to get involved in, or the way you go about it, your company could face public backlash. It’s therefore important to be well-prepared before entering this area. Consider what your company’s core values are. For a builder or a developer, it might be sourcing materials and building homes with minimal environmental impact.

No matter what type of brand activism you decide to involve your business in, make sure you do your research first. Have a look around and see if other property companies have engaged in a similar cause to the one you’re thinking of, and consider the following questions:

  • Have they received any positive or negative feedback based on this?

  • If so, what and how did they respond to it?

  • What could they have done differently?

  • How can you authentically communicate your message, so your customer believes what you say?

You might even want to develop a crisis plan just to be sure that everyone in your organisation knows how to react and respond in case an angry Twitter mob comes after you.

While brand activism isn’t for every property business, we (along with many marketing institutions) do believe that benefits can come from engaging in public issues (as long as you’re authentic).

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