Home » Lessons From Lush – AKA When Standing For A Cause Goes Wrong.

Lessons From Lush – AKA When Standing For A Cause Goes Wrong.

Lush. Lush.Lush.

It seems that is all we can talk about today! Not only because it’s nearly Snow Fairy season (which is one of their popular winter product ranges for the uninitiated) but also because they are leaving social media.

In a world in which brands are built and destroyed online, it seems unthinkable that a huge market player would simply decide nope, they’ve had enough.

They announced that they will be closing their UK social media accounts, and systematically closing their accounts in the other 48 countries in which they sell until social media platforms “take action to provide a safe environment for users.”

Though Lush will still be posting on Youtube and Twitter as it looks to “build better channels of communication elsewhere.”

(You can read their full statement here.)

If you read this post, I predicted that more and more brands would be taking a stand as promoting your values becomes more of a trend.

In fact, the Merkel report of 2020 when so far as to say that 56% of consumers lost respect for brands that stayed silent on key issues.

So I can see why Lush may have made this move….

…However, I have a few questions and it seems I’m not alone.

My first question is the most obvious admittedly, if social media needs reform and making “safer” why are they still choosing to post on Twitter and Youtube?

It seems like an odd choice, given Twitter and Youtube especially have reputations for being negative spaces, given the combative and abusive nature of the content posted by users.

I personally love Twitter, but there is no point in denying it has a mob mentality and people, most often women, often become victims of severe abuse.

Could it be that boycotting Facebook & Instagram is just a bit more woke?

It’s interesting to note also that Lush is still using influencer marketing – so although they don’t have an active presence online, their products still do.

In its official announcement, Lush said it would be closing its accounts from Friday 26th November.

This just so happens to mean it will still be on social media for Black Friday – and this announcement has got it nicely in the news on the run-up.

This may sound cynical – because indeed it is.

Many of the commenters have noted that Lush has done this before.

Yup, they came off social media in 2019 as they were “tired of fighting algorithms”

But then they came back “despite their best intentions”

And that combined with past marketing missteps has caused this stance to backfire.

Rather than seeming like a caring company, commited to their values… Lush just seems a bit unauthentic. A bit desperate for attention.

If Lush was a person it would be tagging itself at the local hospital and then replying to well-meaning comments with either “pm me babe” or “don’t want to talk about it.”

Lush’s CEO has told the BBC that coming off social media could potentially cost them £10 million in sales, but they feel it is worth it.

Obviously, they know their figures more than I do – but for the vast part of its history, Lush has relied on its physical stores and search marketing.

So maybe they thought taking a stance like this and ceasing social media wouldn’t be such a big deal.

However, they gravely misjudged.

This move has now created a lot of negative talk about the brand.

It’s made them seem calculated instead of caring.

It didn’t end well for the boy who always cried wolf, and I doubt these social media boycotts will end well for Lush.

Ps. I was supposed to end the blog there, but just thought it was worth mentioning Ben & Jerry’s.

Everybody’s favourite ice-cream brand made waves when it joined the #StopHateFor Profit campaign last year and vowed to boycott Facebook advertising. But they now have over 80 Facebook & Instagram ads running in the US alone.

Just saying.

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