Leaving your corner of the forest.

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.

It’s a little trite in brand circles to discuss building brands to ‘be your friend’, but in a world reaching for more genuine connections, consumers are expecting authenticity from their brands. Thanks to social media, the connection between brand and consumer has become closer than ever before. Once distant monoliths, you now have 24/7 access to whatever brand you like, from your Health Insurance to your breakfast cereal.

Brands are discovering new ways to form personal connections with their customers. Everyone can remember a brand that went the extra step and gave you the warm fuzzies during your interactions, a Tim Tam with your delivery, a personal note, a free gift, planting a tree with every purchase, a second pair delivered to those in need, the list goes on. But while the little things are nice, what’s important is how companies are using their platform for the larger things. Listening to your audience and committing to making their world better, standing your ground, and showing support for the things that matter can not only be the right thing to do, but can lead you to develop loyal customers.

In the states, years before the Black Lives Matter reckoning for brands, Nike was thrust, or thrust themselves, into the centre of the conversation with the release of their 2018 ‘Dream Crazy’ spot. Part of Nike’s 30th anniversary of Just Do It, the campaign starred former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, tennis legend Serena Williams and skateboarder Lacey Baker inspiring people to dream crazy. It contained the now famous line ‘Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.’ The backlash was swift and strong and overblown, there was burning of shoes, cancelling of orders and snipes from the President. However, the bank holiday weekend following the release resulted in a 31% increase in online sales, Nikes overall valuation increased by $6 Billion in the months after the campaign launch. Manish Dudharejia writes that there are four key takeaways to learn from the Colin Kaepernick Ad.

Four key takeaways


Approach controversy wisely.


Embrace the backlash.


Know who will rally behind you.


Never sacrifice values.

According to a recent broad study, Impact of Culture: What it Means for Brands Today, conducted by MAGNA and Twitter along with its localised extension, shows that Australian brands involvement in and leadership of social issues is not only what consumers want, it’s what they expect.

The study found that:

  • Almost three quarters (74%) of Australians thought of culture other than that of tradition.
  • More than half think it’s important for brands to be involved in social issues and movements, and almost half think it’s important for brands to be involved in events and trends.
  • The top ways for brand involvement include giving back to the community (59%), supporting social issues that benefit everyone (52%), demonstrating that they put their customers first (52%), and are inclusive of all (52%).
  • Involvement in culture is nearly as valuable as having positive brand perceptions.
  • Almost one fifth of a consumer’s purchase decision is made up by a brand’s cultural involvement.
  • Brands supporting social issues have the most potential to impact consumer purchase decisions.

Speaking to Adnews, Emily Float, head of agency at Twitter Australia, notes that the way culture is defined has changed but its importance has not.

“Consumers want brands to get involved in the issues and moments that matter most to them and those that do, will reap the rewards,” she said.

“For marketers, this presents an exciting opportunity because involvement in culture is something in their control. Price and quality will always be the top driver of purchase decisions, but those are relatively set, and brand perceptions can take years, if not decades, to meaningfully shift.

“A brand’s involvement in culture is something that can be changed with a single campaign, and it’s something Twitter in particular is well positioned to help with.”

So, after you’ve spent so much energy making all these new friends, when are you going to head over to their corner of the forest?

Extra, extra!

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