Gillette — More Than a Man’s Best Friend
Brands nowadays can’t just get by with playing it safe. It’s not just about taking risks anymore either — it’s about making bold choices and standing by them. Social responsibility plays a vital role in cultivating customer loyalty in today’s audiences. They look for brands that take a stand for something with meaning. In light of the ongoing movement of LGBTQ+ visibility, Gillette has taken a stand by all of its patrons regardless of orientation. More than that, the brand made a bold choice and took a risk.
And it worked.
The best a brand can get
Gillette’s history has long been tied to a primarily male and masculine target audience. Their most famous slogan focuses on being “The Best a Man Can Get”, and though Gillette now carries a line of products for women, much of its advertising remains predominantly geared towards its heterosexual male audience. But in recent times, Gillette has turned this saying on its head, changing its tagline from ‘The Best a Man Can Get’ to ‘The Best a Man Can Be’.
Gillette’s changes are even more prevalently seen in one of their latest campaigns that included the experience of Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, a trans teenager and artist from Toronto in Canada learning to shave from his father.
While the campaign did have its fair share of naysayers and protests, the global support for the brand and its campaign was overwhelming. When it comes to taking a stance like this (particularly from such an inherently gendered brand like Gillette), it’s understandable that some brands worry about alienating their present target audience and customers. However, today’s growing generation of customers — namely those of the Millennial and Gen Z era — are looking for exactly these types of brand decisions.
Social responsibility = social loyalty
It’s not enough to have clever ads with tongue-in-cheek references and slogans anymore — although they still do help draw audience attention. Customers today look for a brand with meaning; with morals and motivations that don’t just “give back” to the community, but strive to change the status quo of the world today. Whether it’s putting efforts towards sustainability, lowering carbon emissions, or showing open support for the LGBTQ+ community, a brand that stands for something stands out in the eyes of customers.
Social responsibility builds trust, and customers are more likely to be loyal to brands that they deem trustworthy.
A risk worth taking
Gillette has been in the game for over 100 years, so they know a thing or two about risks. Its first execution of their Venus line of products for women had once sparked displeasure among its male clientele, and yet remains one of the more enduring brands today. Though the aim of their marketing towards women and the LGBTQ+ may have been simply to reach a broader audience, their willingness to adjust their campaigns for inclusivity and social responsibility has definitely left a lasting impression on their customers.