Have you ever bought a certain item because x amount of the proceeds were going to a good cause? Ever shopped at one store because they stood for something you admired? Or perhaps you boycotted another because you were disappointed in their service or beliefs?
Brands often take stances on issues that their CEOs or founders or managers support. Sometimes though, these stances can come from views that have hopes to potentially support their business. Stances on issues that support and promote their brand with types of ethos, pathos, or logos. This approach falls under universal humanitarian communication ethics, a way in which a brand can become more than a brand. Standing up for something gives a brand a three-dimensional life, a way they can show they are for the people, with the people. A demonstration of a company’s care and concern for current events and those who are hurting. This could be an organization collecting supplies for hurricane victims, a restaurant passing out food to the homeless, a company donating to relief efforts after a natural disaster, this could even characterize a business that sends employees out to work on service projects in their community once a year.
Facebook is a social networking site, a brand that is known throughout the globe for shares and likes, pictures and videos, clever statuses and live feeds. It can be characterized in many ways, by many things it, or its users do. One thing Facebook has recently launched, is supporting those in need in tragedies. When bombings happened in Paris, Brussels, and Orlando, Facebook was one of the first large organizations to react. They quickly set up a profile picture changing, user friendly, mechanism so that anyone around the world could show support of the cause.
By doing so, Facebook reflects Immanuel Kant’s theory of universal humanitarian ethics, to achieve the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people. The humanitarian principle of Kant’s theory stems from an individual’s drive and dedication of fulfilling a moral duty or obligation to the human community.
The Internet today can be used as a giant support system. A brand built entirely on ranking the things that matter most, Facebook ignites a sense of community among its users. Presenting users with a way to change their profile pictures to reflect the event of a recent tragedy, communicates a behavior that helps to both protect and promote the greater good. A brand for the people, Facebook sets forth the notion that as a collective we must stand together, that even doing something so simple as changing one’s profile picture to represent the flag of a country affected by tragedy, communicates the universal element that together, we are stronger and will be there to help one another.
Facebook is just one of the many companies that always keeps current on the events happening around the world to show that they care for the customers using their brand. This really shows how influential and powerful a company can really be and even start trends that catches on with people from around the world. Do you think sometimes a brand can correlate itself with a potentially insulting cause or charity? Let us know what brands you choose to identify or not identify with because of what it stands for!
I can really relate to this post, because I tend to shop at places that “give back”. There’s this boutique called “Altar’d State,” that does just this. Not only does a certain amount of their proceeds go to certain charities and mission trips, but their employees are also required to volunteer a number of hours a month in their local community. It makes me feel like I am making a difference by shopping here.