Focus this month: Humanity & Belonging

Be it a co-living unit, a suburban community or a global human rights movement, belonging to an entity bigger than ourselves gives us meaning. The drive we collectively have for change seems unstoppable: even the pandemic did not stop us from taking to the streets and calling for change on issues that matter to us.

The era of social media has made it possible for ideas, beliefs, and opinions to spread faster than ever. Can your brand keep up with the demand for authenticity and accountability, and move from reactive actions to being proactive?

Why now?

We expect more and more from companies and organisations. Taking a stand and speaking out against inequality, social issues, and climate change is becoming a standard; it’s not optional anymore. In the United States over 70% of people believe that companies have more responsibility than ever to address social justice issues, and this is the direction we are moving towards here across the pond too.

This trend is here to stay and we are entering a make it or break it phase; consumers will demand that as a brand, the values and principles in demand – from social justice to sustainability – guide your every action.

What’s in it for me?

It is of course only natural that our focus on social and environmental issues follows the news cycle. However, I’m sorry to say this, but if all you have managed to do so far is react to whatever the hot topic of the season is, you are not doing enough.

So where to start? Real change starts with the people; it is a collaborative process, not a solo performance. How could your brand support and even empower both the individuals with the loudest voices driving the change, and the ones who haven’t had the courage to speak up yet? Opening up the conversation with activists and advocacy groups is the way that committed brands are taking in order to achieve meaningful transformation in our society.

There are many routes to get there; partnerships with local institutions, reaching out to local movement leaders, connecting investors with socially impactful small businesses… There’s no shame in starting locally; not everyone has to go big and tackle every issue all at once. But do keep in mind that inaction is seen as a form of action too.

kuudes what's next changemakersThe perfect example

New forms of activism are taking place in both IRL and in social media and the loudest sounds of dissatisfaction seem to be coming from our youth. Could you as a brand help them make their voices heard through the more traditional, conventional platforms too?

When you reach a whopping 90% of 13-24-year-olds in the United States, you can most certainly say that you have a lot of power and influence in your hands. Social media giant Snapchat is using that reach to encourage the next generation to take matters into their own hands and create easier ways for them to participate in democracy.

From creating new features to make it easier to register to vote (2022) to empowering the next generation of leaders to come forth and run for local office (2021), Snap is setting a prime example of a company that is committed to not only driving the change and listening to the voices of their own target group, but also creating a social strategy for the long haul, with their focus set on a clear purpose.

“What’s Next” is our weekly series focusing on a relevant trend that manifests one of the six forces of change by Kuudes. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to learn about next trend.