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Should beauty brands take a stand on political issues?

On Friday, June 24th, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned the landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. With devastating consequences for women, especially those of marginalized communities, the ruling triggers bans in 13 states making abortion access instantly illegal. At least 13 others are ready to pass further restrictions.

Once the news broke, many beauty brands took their social media to issue statements against the decision while sharing information and showing support for women.

Here are some examples of the statements issued:

While others remained silenced, it is worth asking if brands should take a stand on political issues?

With the rise of social media and the increasing demand of consumers for brands to speak out on important causes, managers and CEOs are facing the pressure to take a stand on political issues. Nevertheless, there is a fine line between genuinely supporting a cause that aligns with the brands’ values and jumping on the bandwagon of making political statements for purely promotional motives. So, another question arises, when should the brands support a political cause, and when should they step aside?

The answer here is straightforward and invites companies to look within: If the political issue impacts a value that the company has supported consistently or impacts their customers, employees, and stakeholders, the answer is YES. And it all comes down to being coherent with their communication and actions.

Consumers are becoming more and more critics of brands, and every effort or public announcement gets scrutinized very closely, so if the motive behind is promotional, consumers will notice, and it will do more harm than good.

An example of the above is that Estée Lauder announced that they would reimburse any employee who needs to travel to receive reproductive health care. The announcement was widely criticized on social media because people quickly called out that members of the Lauder family have donated to Donald Trump in the past. This is the reason behind the importance of brands being authentic and coherent with their actions.

As you can see, authenticity and coherency impact every aspect of your business and communication, and it is crucial to building solid relationships with your audience.

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