This week Apple employees joined the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign in support of gay, lesbian and transgender rights. The campaign got started last year after college student Tyler Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after his roommate used a Webcam to film and broadcast Clementi’s sexual encounter with another man.
In response to these tragic deaths, Dan Savage began the “It Gets Better Project,” a YouTube video collection of testimonials from celebrities, politicians, and regular people telling their own stories or offering support to those who are currently suffering in silence or being bullied.
It is a truly powerful phenomenon when a brand of makes a stand for what it believes in. This is even more true with Apple that has such a loyal fan base built on their deep understanding of its customers needs. It enables those customers to better understand who the brand is, what its core values are and to renew their support for the brands on the basis of the values they share.
Campaigns such as these are no doubt polarizing, and Apple runs the risk of perhaps losing some supporters. But those customers that share the same values will become far more deeply invested in a brand that shows it has courage behind its convictions by sharing its point of view with the marketplace.
As with most things Apple, this is a powerful demonstration in leadership. Yes, there is a distinction between the brand and the employees that appear in this video, but the support of the brand behind the campaigns message is undeniably powerful.
In the social business marketplace brands that hope to build loyal and growing communities do so most effectively when they demonstrate their core values and allow a community to build and engage around it. This approach humanizes the brand and automatically allows it to enter a conversation taking place across social media platforms that both the brand and its customer community care about.
Apple is not alone in its support of the Trevor Project. Other brands such as Google, Levi Strauss & Co., AT&T and Wells Fargo are also involved. Not to mention President Obama and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Together they serve as a powerful demonstration of a We First attitude in which brands, employees and consumers partner to bring about positive changes to the thinking and behavior that shapes our world each day.
Sadly Clementi was only one of many teens who took their lives recently after being bullied for their sexual orientation. To lend your support to the Trevor Project, visit their website here and follow their progress on twitter @TrevorProject.
Do you believe its important for brands to stand up for social issues? Do you agree that it makes their supporters more loyal?
Reading Time: 1 minutesSimon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a leading brand consultancy that provides purpose-driven strategy, content, and training that empowers companies to lead business, shape culture, and better our world.