Brands are not America’s conscience, but they are part of the debate in a significant new way: Consumer identity is tied up with their spending, which people increasingly want to reflect their values.
In the end, consumers always have more money, though less concentrated than brand budgets. Brands must engage in evolutionary discussions about their plans with the customer and community to be trusted and supported in their goals.
Have brands become America’s conscience? Some are certainly acting like it, judging by a spate of media boycotts that have targeted certain television programmes and even the production of a Shakespeare play.