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Real people strike back on corporate values

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Have we have reached a tipping point in public tolerance for ‘values’ marketing?

Several charities, small businesses and individuals won’t participate in next week’s International Pride Parade because it has been co-opted by corporates.  They said corporates were using the community event for shallow marketing rather than really contributing.

This is a fascinating judgement by ordinary people, passionate about their pastimes and interests, against corporate pretence.

A few years ago, queer activists vandalised ANZ’s ‘GayTM’ machines.  Pepsi, Starbucks and Nike have all experienced backlash from the people their marketing claimed to support.

We’re impressed by public willingness to walk away from the money offered by marketing’s fleeting cultural tourism.

Our advice is not to chase social causes that are on trend, but to choose community relationships that exhibit long term values common across your customers or New Zealanders in general. If you stick to them, you build value and loyalty.

A good example is the now 10 year backing of Kiwibank for New Zealander of the Year. The prominence and eminence of the awards has come about over time, thanks to dedication and hard work. That’s what communities and customers seek from corporate relationships.

Shallow branding is usually tolerated and ignored simultaneously, but at its worst – it is rejected. Either way, it’s not worth the money and time you spend.

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