We at mimycri know that organizations have a responsibility to be activists just as much as you as an individual.
We are living in times of polarizing and distorting social media, as well as broken social contacts between organizations’ promises and consumers’ expectations. Organizations tend to take a neutral stance when it comes to raising awareness. And truth to be told, the risk of a backlash or being accused of greenwashing can be incredibly high.
Greenwashing happens when an organization has disproportionately higher marketing and branding activities towards sustainability compared to their actual positive activities and impact. They seem more sustainable, than they actually are at the core.
Living in these tense times creates an interesting duality: in the era of various crises, such as climate emergency, plastic pollution, and political instability, and many more, we simultaneously face an era of activism. Greta Thunberg, who started the Fridays for Future movement, Patagonia and the German petition #fairbylaw (we’re coming back to this one later) are just some examples.
In this blog post, we are describing what authentic activism can look like to you as an individual and organization and how actions speak louder than words.
Activism is the action or policy of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.(Lexico, 03.09.2020)
Sometimes a book. Sometimes a petition. And other times activism means diverse and ongoing actions and campaigns. It can take various shapes; digital, loud, online or offline. And no matter which shape it may take, we identified underlying patterns for actions to be authentic.
Brand activism is the act of an organization and/or brand to make moral judgement about the world happenings and seek to change external behaviors/ attitudes / beliefs. (activistbrands.com, 03.09.2020)
We have discovered a harmony between three pillars of effective brand activism:
Intention: being true to your purpose and be aware of intention is important for action to be authentic. Why are you being activist and how does it suit your overall purpose?
Voice: The voice needs to fit you, your intention, the cause, the audience and much more. What storytelling can we use, how transparent are we?
Action: well, what exactly is it that we want to do and change? What activities can be executed (and talked about?)
At mimycri we help various organizations with our workshops. We believe in the viability of the combination of the three - one alone does not work. Doing an action like a campaign but not talking about it is a waste of time. Talking a lot about a small action can be greenwashing and dangerous for your overall brand reputation. And we indeed think that this is the sweet spot what our society (and your clients, employees and customers) want to see.
In our next blog post, we will talk about Dos and Don'ts, as well as great local examples of activism.