Library Dissertation Showcase

Understanding the impact of activism into brand design: customers’ appreciation, companies’ reputation, and effects on products

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

What happens when brands enact activism and involve themselves within the socio-political lives of their consumers? The results from a series of case studies on brand activism campaigns, show that when brands involve themselves with activism it impacts their consumers, reputation and products. A case study method was employed and this study focused on these campaigns: Patagonia “Don’t Buy this Jacket”; Ben & Jerry’s “Pecan Resist”; Cards Against Humanity “For Her”; Lush “Spy Cops”; Starbucks “Refugee programme”. The results from the case studies indicated that activism campaigns caused a polarising effect on consumers, increasing its reputation and that enacting activism through their products, impacted their brand identity. Additionally, a framework was also produced, to understand the impact of activism into brand design.

This dissertation won the School of Design’s EDI Dissertation Award Prize 2020/21: 

Alexa Mottram (University of Lincoln), Craig Nyarambi (University of Lincoln) and Emilio Rossi (Università degli Studi “G. d’Annunzio” Chieti – Pescara) wrote an article about this dissertation, which was published on 16th June 2023 and is available here: The Complexities of Political Engagement and Consumer Response to Woke Design | diid — disegno industriale industrial design

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