In a post-Colin Kaepernick and Nike world, brands are incorporating corporate social responsibility and activism into their ethos. Startups like Shinola are even born on a promise of CSR (for Shinola, bringing jobs to Detroit), motivating more established competitors to make similar efforts.
The most recent midterm election prompted a variety of brands to say that they cared about voting, a low-wager effort in the world of CSR, especially as younger consumers say they prefer brands that take a stand on matters they care about.
On November 1, Kendra Scott began getting out the word early that followers should vote. The brand announced in an Instagram Story that it would present 15% off to shoppers who showed up at its stores on November 6 proudly debuting their “I Voted” stickers. The story even utilized the swipe-up feature to show users their nearest stores, getting followers ready and primed a full week before election day.
Five days later, as Instagram feeds were inundated in selfies of friends and celebrities showing off “I Voted” stickers, other brands followed suit in promoting awareness around the election.
Tory Burch established itself as a leader in this space with the creation of a limited edition “Vote” T-shirt. The product description states that it was “created to urge all young Americans to actively participate in our democracy and cast their ballot in November” and urges shoppers to “help spread the #ownyourvote message — registering and voting has never been more important than it is now.” On top of that, 100% of net proceeds benefitted Eighteenx18 and the upcoming youth-led summit. On election day, Tory Burch also posted pictures of activist and shirt designer Yara Shahidi sporting the product alongside celebrities like Julia Roberts and Mindy Kaling.
Chan Luu and James Allen followed Kendra Scott’s lead, offering discounts and promotions to shoppers who showed the brand that they voted. Chan Luu offered 20% in-store with the sticker, while James Allen promoted an opportunity for $100 off with the same requirement.
Though early-voters and absentee ballot senders may have been out of luck without a sticker on Tuesday, these retailers prove that they’re waking up to consumer preferences for brands to take a stand on social and political issues. And when it comes to promotions, who doesn’t love a discount?