Conversations about the end of ‘wokery’ and its failure to purge the injustice that is rife around the world are springing up, with data showing that 68% of consumers are uncertain about supporting woke brands.
Now, it might be time for companies to think twice about their socio-political activism. Let’s find out some potential risks that can result from nailing your flag to the mast of a particular cause.
The risk of demoralising employees
Your woke initiative may backfire if you don’t consider your employees’ sentiments. Research suggests that taking a stance that contrasts with your employees would be detrimental to their usual work outputs and willingness to finish extra tasks. However, it’s interesting to note that those who do agree with their employer’s stance don’t show extraordinary increases in productivity.
The risk of hypocrisy
Experts and innumerable case studies have pointed out that hypocrisy is one of the factors that can trip organisations up in an era where consumers are savvier than ever; Stakeholders can quickly tell when you are not walking the talk. In other words, advocating for a cause for brand clout or to people-please stakeholders means putting your reputation and consumer trust in jeopardy.
This has never been truer than in today’s digital-first world, where everything can be found online, everything sticks and everyone can develop a powerful voice on social media. An accusation of woke-washing can do your brand more harm than any good aligning with a social or environmental cause might have done in the long run.
The risk of alienating shareholders
Making socio-political commitments that your major shareholders don’t align with can also imperil long-standing relationships that have been nurtured since the early days of your brand.
For example, Disney’s activism on parental rights has reportedly damaged the brand’s relationships with more conservative investors. Considering the power wielded by major shareholders over a business’s operation, failure to keep these important stakeholders on the same page can impede progress and the overall impact of your woke actions.
This doesn’t mean businesses should focus solely on being profitable and turn a blind eye to environmental impacts or social issues. However, instead of jumping on the bandwagon of the latest cause trending online, dedicate your resources to identifying which issues naturally align with your brand, your products and your services. This way, you can leverage your advocacy with authenticity. This will put you in better stead for positive engagement with your internal and external stakeholders and increase the likelihood of making a tangible impact.
At Midas PR, we are experts in identifying the best suited cause for your corporate advocacy and crafting messages that best resonate with your audiences. If you want to highlight your contributions to a relevant cause, contact us for a consultation by visiting www.midas-pr.com or through email.