Avoid Woke-washing

Avoid Cause-washing

Cause-Washing animationAs different causes take the center stage for their respective seasons, it can be tempting for brands to maintain relevance by applying a splash of color behind their logo for pride month or slapping a pink ribbon on their social media posts in October. The practice of “cause-washing” starts down a slippery slope into losing consumer trust, ending on the cancellation express. Performative allyship is out. Accountability and action are IN!

So how do you market and interact with the general public while steering clear of the inevitable muck that follows painting yourself a different color every time the opportunity arises? 

Know Your Brand Values

Consider your current business practices, then evaluate to see if your current choices are in alignment with your values. If you value conserving resources, what are you currently doing as a business that reflects that? Is there something that you could adjust to be in better alignment with your values? Choose your causes based on your values.

Only Highlight Causes that You Are Actively Doing Something About

You might actively contribute and support a cause by having a donation jar, donating portions of proceeds, or hosting some kind of fundraising event. The possibilities are endless. Just be clear about who and how you are contributing before popping that pink background onto your marketing materials. 

Be In Conversation with Your Target Audience

Make sure to take the time to educate your audience about the causes that you support. Seek to highlight the voices of people who are experts in those areas. Use social media, email lists, and other points of contact to help increase awareness and share resources during the month and throughout the year. 

As you authentically engage with your audience both in conversation and marketing, you will foster a community of loyal consumers and increase your ability to create a positive impact for those causes you care about.

Jessica Cale


Jessica Cale

Designer/Fontographer extraordinaire