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While cancelling celebrities and attention seekers is becoming more common by the day, brands aren’t immune to the wrath of empowered customers who have found more collective influence online during a year of global pandemic.
In fact, a recent study by Porter Novelli* claims that 36% of people they surveyed had cancelled a brand in the past 12 months. Alarmingly, 66% of people will still cancel a company if it does something wrong or offensive – even if they love their products or services.
While getting cancelled isn’t recommended, smart brands can often turn these situations around and show how they have learned their lesson and grown – gaining fans as well as publicity during the process.
The best approach for brands who find themselves in a messy situation is shown by the customer expectations below:
are more willing to forgive a company for making a mistake if it shows a genuine attempt to change.
would be likely to ‘uncancel’ a company if that organisation apologised and committed to make changes.
expect a public statement of apology and clarifying the situation.
percent said companies must go beyond a statement and work to create programs and policies internally to address the change needed.
felt a donation to an associated non-profit was enough to make amends.
Cancel culture isn’t as doom and gloom as it sounds. In fact, most customers see cancel culture as a way to engage with companies – and change them for the better. This is supported by the fact that only 14% of people want companies they ‘cancel’ to go away permanently.
The biggest challenge facing modern brands is authenticity. This is where brands with purpose flourish, not only when attracting customers – but in retaining them during any small hiccups or missteps. Having a purpose that you and your customers truly believe in, is the best protection against potentially long-term negative attention.
Fortunately, creating authentic purpose-driven brands is what we do every day. If you’d like to protect your business against cancel culture, we’re here to help.
Get in touch with the WOODS team today.
WOODS is a full service brand agency who believe in partnering with purpose-driven companies to create authentic brands that matter to the world.