Each day, we deal with more and more social, political and economic uncertainty.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed by these sometimes troubling and confusing times. But because of this, brands who are committed to working toward a brighter collective reality are standing out and strengthening the trust of consumers and other stakeholders. We know from years of research that trust leads to stronger relationships between a brand and consumers, which means stronger brand equity, more loyal consumers, and stronger sales.

During the past month alone, we’ve seen unprecedented actions by brands such as Airbnb, Lyft, Starbucks, Audi and more. These brands are standing up for human rights, publicly declaring that empathy and inclusion are in the core of their brand DNA, and at the same time are generating trust and strong feelings of loyalty from consumers who hold similar views. Airbnb took the lead at the end of January by offering free housing to people stranded by President Trump’s immigration order. In a similar vein, Lyft donated $1 Million to the ACLU to help combat the immigration ban, and Starbucks boldly stated to their employees that they would hire 10,000 refugees. Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia have all declared public support for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, which is suing in federal court to stop President Trump’s order. In addition, Nike is taking a stand for equality with a new film and partnerships dedicated to inspiring people to take action in their communities.

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