Good Afternoon, Jim-Our client, Perry Gelliscurrently faces a dilemma: do they leverage an empowerment message to launchtheir new men’s clothing line? The new launch aims to empower women in Rwandaby giving them jobs that pay 300 percent of the average wage in the country.
Although this information is accurate, we have recently uncovered in a clientmeeting that working conditions are poor and the average wage is barely enoughfor the workers to live. This information is not commonly known by the public.Therefore, please refer to the following message strategy recommendation. After conductingextensive secondary research on the matter and understanding the type of brandPerry Gillis wants to be, I recommend that they should not leverage an empowerment message to launch the new line.
Support for thisrecommendation is found in the research below.1. Consumers want fully transparent and ethical brands. Consumers want companies to be open and honest about theirefforts (Landrum, 2017).
? 94percent of consumers would be more loyal to brands that practice transparency(Label Insight ROI Study, 2016). ? 56percent on consumers claim that brand transparency would make them “loyal forlife” (Label Insight ROI Study, 2016).? Accordingto the Guardian Sustainable Business, consumers want relevant, truthful andeasily understandable information.? Allowingshoppers to spend money wisely, both for themselves and for society. Consumers are skeptical of brands.
? 42 percent of the US population do not trust brands (McCann,2017).? 52 percent of the US population agree that marketingproducts with an ethical stance is a way to manipulate consumers (The EthicalConsumer, 2015). ? 51percent of people in the US don’t believe companies with social commitments arestriving to be as responsible as possible, until they have proof about theirefforts (2015 Cone Communications CSR Study, 2015). Consumerstalk about unethical brands.
· Onsocial media, 21 percent of people in the US share negative information aboutcompanies and issues they care about (2015 Cone Communications CSR Study, 2015).· 54 percent of the USpopulation do not pay attention to a company’s social efforts until somethinggoes wrong (2015 Cone Communications CSR Study, 2015).· 35%of people in the US will tell people when they believe a company is especially unethical(The Ethical Consumer, 2015). 2.
Companies who have overstated their brand promise haveexperienced negative consequences.Large companiesthroughout many industries have been exposed for false or exaggerated claims,leading to loss of consumers and sales.· Car manufacturer Volkswagenpromoted and marketed its newly designed diesel vehicles as a low-emissions(Lovelance & Wang, 2016).
o In2015, Environmental Protection Agency exposed Volkswagen for cheating emissiontests § Recallof 83,000 vehicles (Lovelance , 2016). § Salesdropped 20% from the previous year (Kollewe, 2016).· Clothing company,Lululemon, claimed its VitaSea fabric made with seaweed would releases marineminerals into the skin (Story, 2007). o In2007, The New York Times tests concluded there was no significant difference inmineral levels between the VitaSea fabric and cotton T-shirts.§ Stockfell from $60 to $42 after the tests went public in 2007. · The Rainforest AllianceCertified sealis awarded to farms, forests, and businesses that meet rigorous environmentaland social standards, such as quality working conditions for farmers.(Rainforest Alliance, 2018).
o In2015, a BBC investigationexposed that workers on Rainforest Alliance-approved tea estates lived in poorhousing conditions and received below average wages (Rowlatt & Deith,2015). § Waterand Sanitation Health filed a lawsuit against Rainforest Alliance for notliving up to their certification claims (Water and Sanitation Health, Inc,2016). At this point in time,Perry Gellis should not leverage an empowerment message. With corporate socialresponsibility being at the forefront of many industries, the clothing giant isbest to leverage a strategy it can fully support. Companies who made thismistake have suffered and have had to dedicate time and money to rebuild salesand consumer trust. A collective effortwill need to be made by you and the account planner to relay this informationto the client.
Helping the client understand their social efforts are not thebest message strategy, may present a point of contention. You must make itclear to the client that though their social initiatives are strong, research confirms theyare not strong enough to leverage as a brand launch. Perry Gellis is a clothinggiant with strong values. Therefore, its ad and PR campaign should reflectthis. As an agency, we need to look past the empowerment message strategy andonto a more calculated plan that will allow for a successful campaign for ourclient.