Recently Forrester dove into the effects of cancel culture on brands. Forrester defines cancelling a brand as: “A widespread public campaign (often via social media) to hold a company accountable for the consequences of perceived wrongdoing. This may include (…) calls for boycotts, terminations, and product changes.” In the report they reviewed more than 40 supposed brand cancellations over the past 10 years and found most suffered from negligible financial impact. The report also found the three biggest risks to face cancellation: unethical business practices, mistreating your employees and lastly, executives misbehaving.
Some other interesting stats from the report: Kellan Terry, global head of communications at Brandwatch, says in the report that a social media backlash typically only lasts ‘between two to four days’ and roughly one in four consumers say offering a discount is all a brand needs to do to redeem itself after a scandal.
It is an interesting perspective for those wondering how much damage negative publicity will actually do and at the same time confirms something we have been saying at TrendsActive for a long time; what people say does not always correspond with what people do. Many brands are constrained by a fear to please everyone, or at the very least not offend anyone, while there might be more liberty for risks than thought. Want to read more? Check the report here, or a contagious article about the report here.