Why brands should pay attention to ‘cancel culture’

The year 2020, one which many of us wished had been cancelled, has become synonymous, with ‘cancel culture’. Although cancel culture appeared to peak in 2020, it continues to thrive in 2021 and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. Cancel culture is the removal of support for a person, company or brand based on their actions or opinions. Brands are increasingly being held accountable for their societal, environmental and cultural impact and the rise of social media has given customers the platform from which they can express how they feel. Furthermore, with the more culturally conscious Millennials and Generation Z rising to positions of economic power, this armchair activism can significantly impact brands and their reputation. You only have to look at the controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A to see this in action. According to a study by Edelman, 64% of consumers around the world will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue. In addition, 68% also believe consumers have the power to force companies to change. It is clear that consumers today are well informed and have a voice when it comes to societal issues. They expect brands to turn their words into action and take a stance on global issues. If brands don’t deliver on their promises, consumers possess the determination and the platform to hold them accountable. Deeming them effectively, cancelled.