Strategy Roundup | 4.9.21

Kris W.

This week let’s take a look at three brands who are putting their beliefs into action!

You’ve probably heard about brand convictions/brand promises that serve as the internal north star that drives a brand’s existence. Brand actions are the proof in the pudding, the steps a brand takes to keep true to their promise in real, tangible ways.

Volvo has always acted in the name of safety; now they’re elevating sustainability as the #1 safety concern.

Sustainability is just as important to Volvo as their legendary safety. In this new global campaign, they posit that sustainability is the ultimate safety test.

Volvo has big plans to become a climate neutral company by 2040, including transitioning to fully electric vehicles by 2030 and with half of their global sales being fully electric by 2025. In the ad linked above, a delightfully Scandinavian narrator speaks as Volvo drops a car from 30 meters in the most extreme crash test ever — and then a glacier collapses against the background of the Arctic Circle, interrupting the ad.

“I am very proud to bring the ultimate safety campaign to life,” said Mike Johnstone, head of central marketing & brand at Volvo cars. “Sustainability is now as important as safety to us, with climate action having the highest priority, and Volvo cars has one of the most ambitious climate plans in the car industry. that’s why we’re proud to highlight the work we are doing through this campaign taking real action to combat global warming.”

Courtesy Duolingo

Duolingo believes that language learning works best when we go out into the world and actually practice it.

Don’t get us wrong, the app is great — but Duolingo knows that eventually users need to put language into practice. So, if you have the chutzpah to order it in Yiddish, Duolingo will get you a free bagel.

On April 6 Duolingo launched a new Yiddish course which took them 5 years to pull together. It’s the 40th to join the platform, which has more than 42 million active users. Over 10,000 users signed up to be alerted when the course dropped, and what better way to celebrate than with a tasty bagel?

Free bagels and a spread of choice will able available for Duolingo users on launch day — if you order in: “Ken ikh hubn a baygl mit shmirkeyz,” (I would like a bagel with schmear.) The free bagels were available at Katz’s Delicatessen in Manhattan, Manny’s Cafeteria & Deli in Chicago, Zak the Baker in Miami, Pigeon Bagels in Pittsburgh and Factor’s Famous Deli in Los Angeles.

Photo by Malik Skydsgaard on Unsplash

Backing causes with monetary donations are straightforward ways to take action; Patagonia goes a step further by calling on other brands to take action too.

Known for protecting the environment, Patagonia steps up to protect the ballot box.

Patagonia hasn’t kept shy of politics, so it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that they’ve donated $1 million to fight restrictive voting laws — starting with Georgia’s new voting access law. The $1 million will be split evenly between Black Voters Matter Fund and The New Georgia Project. They’re also asking other businesses to send letters to senators in states considering similar laws where they do business.

Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert said in a statement: “Protecting our democracy is an all-hands-on-deck commitment that’s ongoing. Standing in solidarity with Black CEOs and business leaders, I call on fellow CEOs to join in denouncing these attacks on our democracy and to do more than make a corporate statement. The strength of our democracy depends on every vote being counted everywhere, and we must protect access to the ballot box.”

There will be plenty of opportunities for brands to take action this year. If 2020 was a turning point of a year, 2021 will be the year of receipts as consumers demand brands make good on their promises.

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