Transparency has been touted as a powerful marketing tool. Brands have been encouraged to counter rumours with facts (McDonald’s)[i], turn customers into advocates (Canadian Tire),[ii] and visibly share and adhere to their core values (Patagonia).[iii]
The Ask (aka Your Task):
Step One: Find a brand that has come out in strong support of a cause
- Some of the causes a brand might support: anti-racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, Indigenous rights, mental health initiatives, LGBTQ equality, gender equity, differently-abled rights, children’s rights, elder rights
Step Two: Summarize in a few sentences how this brand has openly supported the cause
- Describe the action, ad, or campaign which uplifts the cause
- Be sure to use your own words – paraphrase but don’t quote
- Be sure to cite what you paraphrase, both within the text and in the Bibliography, using APA style
Step Three: Outline in a short paragraph the return on investment (ROI) that resulted from the action, ad, or campaign
- How in depth you go in this area will depend on when the action, ad, campaign aired
- If the action, ad, or campaign was recent, then you can project the ROI via Loyalty KPIs such as customer satisfaction and customer discourse
Step Four: Do a close examination of both the brand and its parent company, from an inside and an outside perspective
- Summarize in a sentence or two what the parent company/brand states are its core values
- You’ll find this information on the websites of each – highlighted will be information about which the company is proud
- You often have to scroll to the bottom of the webpage to find the About Us link – this is where you’ll find things such as the make up of the company’s board of directors, company bylaws, etc.
- Summarize in a short paragraph whatoutside, non-biased,reliablesources are saying about the parent company/brand
- Look into what people with a vested interest are saying
- Explore industry publications, non-partisan news sources, and social media: do an online search, combining the parent company’s name/brand with an ideal it promotes (ex: P&G equal pay). If the company has been caught out for not practicing what it portrays, it’s in this search that you’ll find criticisms, commentaries (positive and negative), and praise
- You can use both Google and the GBC LLC for this search
- Be sure to cite the sources for all of the content you have paraphrased, both in the body of your message and in a corresponding Bibliography,using APA style
- I’m expecting to see a minimum of three sources here
Step Five: Tell me your findings
- Specify whether the structures within the parent company/branddo OR do not uphold the values promoted in the action, ad, or campaign
- If the answer here is no, explain how or if the parent company has responded to criticism/being called out
- It’s in this section that you can incorporate details of what has been said about the company online; you can include short quotes from publications or social media here
- This section should be approximately half a page in length
[i] Vision Critical. (2016). 5 Brands That Employed Transparency in Marketing—and Won. Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/5-brands-employed-transparency-marketing-and-won.
[ii]Vision Critical. (2016). 5 Brands That Employed Transparency in Marketing—and Won. Blog. Retrieved from:https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/5-brands-employed-transparency-marketing-and-won.
[iii]Vision Critical. (2016). 5 Brands That Employed Transparency in Marketing—and Won. Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/5-brands-employed-transparency-marketing-and-won.