Should your brand talk politics?

Everyone is talking politics lately, and some brands are jumping in to the heated discussion. But is it smart to insert a political stance for your brand?

There are a number of considerations to take before a brand should make politically opinionated statements. First, know your audience. Chances are you have an audience/customer base that is diverse– from geography, gender, age to political stance, etc. So first, consider the business consequences of angering or alienating even a small group of customers. Is it worth it?

Also importantly, don’t be rash. Especially lately, many of us are passionate about our political opinions. But passion can lead to rash Tweets that can cause damage–even if deleted later. Is your brand or business the right place to voice your personal opinion? Think it through, talk with your peers, superiors and advisors before making any heated statements you may regret later.

Dont participate just to participate. All too often brands insert themselves into trending topics just for relevance. Customers can see right through this misguided approach. While it’s smart to participate in trending discussions when appropriate, participaton should be authentic to the brand’s voice and cause. Otherwise it can feel out of place, confusing or downright off-putting to your audience.

If you’ve weighed the consequences and feel there is a compelling reason that your brand should take a stance, do it with taste. Bashing, name-calling or ranting is disrespectful and will almost certainly divide your audience. Stay positive and supportive in your statements, and be authentic and consistent in your voice.

Lastly, understand that your brand is human and you can’t please everyone. The strongest brands are those that forge meaningful and honest relationships with their customers. People make companies and people have opinions. Your customers will respect you for honesty. So if your opinion is relevant and adds value, standing up for your beliefs through your brand can have long-term benefits for your customer relationships.

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-Posted by Elizabeth Pace