The Rise of Consumer Activism in an Era of Distrust

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Consumer Activism: Just Getting Started
Since the inauguration of president Trump, we've seen protests seemingly organized on a dime whether it be The Women's March, The March for Life or the recent immigration protests at local airports. These actions, however will not be limited to the protests in public but also in protests of the purse or at least the #hashtag. Case in point—when Uber announced that it would be removing surge pricing to pick up the slack caused by NYC cab drivers who joined immigration protests it was seen by some customers as profiting from an issue they vehemently disagreed with.

And from this, the #Deleteuber "movement" was born with people screen grabbing their deletion of the app, swearing allegiance to Uber's competition and encouraging peers to do the same. While consumer activism isn't new by any stretch of the imagination—today's record levels of distrust in once trusted institutions (see Edelman's Trust Barometer) combined with peer connectivity sets the stage for a dramatic increase of the phenomena.

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From Brand Awareness to Consumer Activism
For brands to raise their level of readiness in an era where consumer activism becomes more commonplace—marketers must think about four key stages in addition to the traditional funnel. Each stage carries with it a positive or negative impact for a brand. 

Awareness
+ Positive: Consumer has general awareness of a brand and its values and finds them relevant
-  Negative: Consumer has low awareness of brand and its values and brand is not relevant 

Affinity 
+ Positive: Consumer has a high affinity for the brand and preference as a result 
-  Negative: Consumer has low affinity for the brand and does not show loyalty 

Advocacy 
+ Positive: Consumer will recommend brand to others and actively promote it 
-  Negative: Consumer will speak negatively about brand and actively criticize it 

Activism 
+ Positive: Consumer will actively defend or take action which benefits brand
-  Negative: Consumer will actively take action which damages brand (reputation or financial)


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Source: Buzzfeed

Earning Trust in an Era of Consumer Activism 
Emerging societal demands and divides combined with peer connectivity provide the perfect storm for consumer activism and brands must find ways to earn not only the loyalty but trust of their consumers. Edelman's 2016 Earned Brand study outlines that most brands engage consumers in a way that interest and involve them but fall short of getting them invested to the point where consumers would advocate on their behalf or act as "activists" in their favor. 

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Some brands are taking a proactive stance as this emerging dynamic intensifies. *Starbucks recently committed to hiring 10,000 refugees in in five years while clearly articulating their values. AirBnB announced that stranded refugees could stay for free and Lyft pledged a million dollars to support the ACLU.

Handle With Care: Consumer Activism Will Force Brands to Examine Their Values
If nothing else, consumer activists will force brands to ask themselves "what do we stand for"? The biggest risk for a brand in dealing with a low trust environment is to act inauthentically, contrived or in a way that feels opportunistic. Still, consumers will continue to evaluate brands not only by how relevant they are in their lives—but how responsible they feel they are. Or to put it another way, how much they feel they have in common in terms of their values. If a brand today cannot express or articulate those values—it risks leaving its intent and action open to interpretation.  

*Starbucks is an Edelman client

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The Weekly “Follow Up”

Welcome to the very first edition of The Weekly “Follow Up.” If you haven’t noticed by now, we’re under new ownership. And while we’re still ironing out all the kinks, the one thing we’re focusing on is pushing out more content. Since taking the helm of The Future Buzz, we feel like we’re on a good pace.

So to keep you all caught up with all the stuff we published throughout the week, we’re introducing this weekly “follow up” to catch you up on all the things we published the previous week.

To give you a little background on what we’re up to, our editor in chief, Ed Zitron, wrote up a quick little primer on some of the things you can expect to see from us in the next coming weeks. As Ed says it, “we’re going to address everything – the good and the bad in our industries – and we’re going to really look to hear from you, our community.” Give it a read below:

Let’s catch you up on some of the things you may have missed last week.

One of our most viewed posts last week was brought to you by yours truly. It’s part of a new series we’re doing where we call out all the idiotic things PR people do on a daily basis. Mainly, bad pitches.

In our very first “PR People: Don’t Do This” series, our first bozo tried to pitch a former TechCrunch writer and mentioned a previous article of his in the pitch. Well, the only issue was the previous article he mentioned in the pitch was published more than FIVE YEARS AGO! And, oh, the journalist they pitched hasn’t worked at TechCrunch for at least two years. So yea, there’s that.

On top of calling out PR people for all their stupid shit, we do want to provide tips and tricks to make our readers better PR pros and marketers. A lot of times, we get asked really simple questions, but for the most part, they’re all the right questions. So one of the most frequent questions I usually get is how long PR people and marketers should wait until following up to a pitch a journalist has never replied to? Thankfully, the answer surprisingly isn’t all that complicated.

On the topic of pitching, want to know one of the biggest reasons journalists aren’t reading your pitch? In a nutshell, they’re too long and boring. Remember, journalists get over 100 pitches a day. If your pitch is short and sweet, you’ll most likely get a response. We dive deeper into this here.

A great deal of PR and marketing people are decidedly average in their knowledge and ability to communicate, which means that despite there being lots of people who want to do PR and marketing, you can get better than them by simply showing up and doing something clients like. For example, you get good at media relations, you can grow fairly successful by being just okay at your job! Read more here.

If you missed some of the stuff we published the weeks prior, don’t worry, we have you covered

Alrighty, that about sums up our very first Weekly “Follow Up”. We hope you enjoyed it. If we missed anything, please be sure to let us know in the comments below or via our Facebook or Twitter. If you prefer to have our stories emailed directly to your inbox, you can always subscribe here too.

The post The Weekly “Follow Up” appeared first on The Future Buzz.

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Google’s 19th Birthday Surprise Spinner

Google Doodle

Google just turned 19, WOW…It was 19 years ago that the search engine was started in a garage, at that time it was one of the last entrants in the search space with Alta Vista, Yahoo and AOL controlling the domain.

Today 19 years later they not only dominate the web but also play a large part in the digital ecosystem. The search engine now has more than 4.5 billion people across 160 countries.

Over the years Google has created awesome doodles or interactive elements to engage users. My favorite being the tribute to Freddy Mercury and John Lennon. This year Google is celebrating its birthday with a magical Doodle, the surprise spinner lets you play 19 fun games that show up across the screen making you spend time in spinning the wheel.

While there are 19 interactive games that you can choose to play, however there is a catch here – You’ll end up spending a lot of time playing them 🙂 but if you’re thrilled about online games than this doodle is meant for you.

I’ve spun the spinner a few times and realized that the more you spin the wheel the more addicted you get to playing the games. I also managed to play my favorite game – Pac Man on the doodle. Some of the other games that you can play are – Hallowe’en spells, Cricket, Snake game and also take the Earth Quiz.

Spin the wheel and let me know your favourite game, I wonder if the doodle spin the game idea was taken from the success of the fidget spinners? What do you think ?

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