Brands with a purpose and brands that are activist are frequently confused, but it is a crucial distinction about whether you are looking for an animating idea that holds the organisation together, while activism is working to effect change in the world as and beyond your business.

There are a handful of ways to do this:

  • Activist by design: brands founded with activist ideals baked in. See, for instance, Tony’s Chocolonely, a chocolate brand that aims to make 100% slavery-free chocolate the industry norm, not just its own.
  • Impact beyond the bottom line: brands like Ben & Jerry’s and the North Face are progressive, but their activism is not core to their business activity: it runs in parallel.
  • Assumed activism: big brands like IKEA, which have a kind of purpose (democratising well-designed furniture) but which are now dipping their toes into activism, knowing that the brand’s heft could be a significant benefit to campaigns around the world.

Read more:  Should brands be activist? If so, how? Insights from Ben & Jerry’s, Tony’s Chocolonely and IKEA

Sourced from WARC