When thinking about this issue, the Aesop fable about the contest between the sun and the wind to determine which is strongest is a great illustration. The contest between the wind and the sun was to see who could get the traveler to take off his cloak first. The wind went first, blowing as hard as he could. But the traveler just held on to his cloak tighter, never letting go.
The sun went next, shining with warmth. As the traveler sat down to bask in the warmth, he spread his cloak on the ground to sit on.
Taking a stand is like the wind. When you speak forcefully about something, there’s rebound effect and people actually hold on to their beliefs more tightly. But persuasion is like the sun — when listeners feel understood, they relax.
What brands are doing now when they take a stand is preaching. They really aren’t doing a good job of convincing anyone of anything! I know there will be plenty of people who take issue with that statement but check out the evidence in my white paper (available by sending me an email here).
The answer is to persuade, not preach. What do I mean by persuade? Stay tuned for next week’s blog entry by subscribing on this website.