Whether their products are apparel, electronics or software, today’s corporations have to increasingly think about their brand image, and the values they represent and promote. That’s because buyers are increasingly sensitive about the values these products project about them into the world, and those who can afford it often ‘vote with their wallet’ to advance the causes they care about.
Corporations aren’t people (more on this at the end) but what they do projects their values, and unless there is little or no choice, people will care about that.1 In fact, the more similar options there are on the market, the more important it is to differentiate by the brand’s image.
Sometime during Uber’s unending public image nose-dive2 I switched to Lyft. (I still use Uber when I’m travelling in countries where Lyft doesn’t operate yet, which illustrates the point about competition.) Volkswagen Group is another corporation that can hope people are going to forget about their willful deception.3 As a positive example, HBO released a Last Week Tonight episode highly critical of the freedoms in China, forgoing their prospects in China rather than cozying up to their government.
What does that have to do with your voice, power and freedom?