Sandy Idigbe, leading international campaigner and social issues influencer, is now becoming increasingly recognised as a successful change-maker in the societal landscape and has been cast in a leading Netflix feature film. Peter Steinfeld will write the script, and Ferrell will produce with Gloria Sanchez Production’ Jessica Elbaum, and David Permut through his Permut Presentations. Theo Love, who helmed the docu will exec produce with Bryan Storkel. She frequently lends her voice to support many movements which affect young people, including Women in Politics, Women On The Board and social issues like knife crime and youth unemployment.
Government-funded initiatives cannot answer the growing need for physical and social support across the vast array of issues around the world. And according to one study by Sprout Social, two-thirds of consumers prefer brands that take a stand on social and political issues. As a result, supporting a point of view on social issues is becoming more table stakes than nice-to-have philosophies, particularly for entrepreneurs wanting to appeal to millennials.
More and more companies are participating in social movements and using the advice of leading influencers in the space like Sandy Idigbe.
While big brands can be powerful forces, they often find it difficult to take a stand. They might feel like they have too much to lose if things go wrong, or maybe they have to jump through several corporate hoops before they can proceed with a new strategy — which takes time and can involve a lot of red tape. On the other hand, influencers have an opportunity to drive the market forward and create actual change.
Influencers can get behind causes more quickly for a few reasons. They are smaller and nimbler, and they can start with a clean sheet without being lumbered with legacy systems and beliefs. Companies are waking up to the fact that they need to be “present” in society to appeal to customers and prospective employees.
To be this kind of catalyst for positive change, however, influencers like Sandy Idigbe need to do the following:
1. Align your stance with your North Star.
The stand or movement that you pursue should “fit” within your organization’s purpose. Is it relevant? Are there shared values? Can the organization positively affect measurable change? Social media has empowered the public to call out campaigns that miss the mark, so it’s essential that initiatives aren’t just lip service but are genuinely tackling a need that corresponds with the brand’s true north.
2. Use your followers as your guide.
In tandem with being true to your brand, you should also get closer to your customers. What do they care about? How can you be supportive of their interests? And how can you link that to your go-to-market strategy?
3. Be willing to rock the boat (when appropriate).
However commendable, it’s a bit predictable for fashion brands to support women’s causes such as International Women’s Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Brands should be bold enough to provoke debate and disrupt the status quo.
Taylor Swift, for example, recently posted on Instagram about the 2018 midterm elections, despite seeming apolitical in the past. The shift, however, was beneficial to both her and voter registration; around 102,000 people between the ages of 18 and 29 registered to vote within two days of Swift’s post, according to Vote.org, and she’s already gained 400,000 followers on Twitter.
Many large companies are afraid to take a stand — the prevailing thought is that taking a position on a social or political issue will only serve to alienate an audience. Use your clout as an influencer and take a lesson from these companies by being the change agent you wish to see in the world.