The UK’s fractured political landscape is becoming increasingly polarised. With a general election looming on 12 December, many citizens are preparing to cast tactical votes based not on broad political sympathies but instead on their position regarding Brexit – an issue which has also split the main political parties.
Other divisive issues are coming to the fore too, with parts of London brought to a standstill in October by Extinction Rebellion protests in a bid to highlight the dangers of climate change, while many businesses and commuters fumed.
How should brands deal with the issues that are evidently of such grave concern to their customers? Head on, says Gymbox brand and marketing director Rory McEntee.
“It isn’t always just about buying a product that is the best value. I think it’s about the brand and what that brand says about you. We’ve always felt that we stand for something. We’re not your cookie-cutter gym," he states.
"What you might be seeing now is that there are a lot of brands that have been playing it safe for years. I get the impression that people are fed up with it now and they want people to stand for something.”
Sincerity is key to being taken seriously, says The Body Shop global brand director, Lionel Thoreau. The beauty brand has been a campaigning organisation since it was created in 1976 by activist and environmentalist Anita Roddick.
“I believe that today’s customers are very savvy. They care not only about our products, they want to know what is important beyond products, in terms of societal, environmental and political issues. This is important for us and most brands realise that now,” says Thoreau.
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