(In)authentic Brand Activism
During times of social and political unrest, many companies struggle to effectively position their brands on the right side of justice. Opinionated messaging may alienate certain segments of the market, while generic statements, fence-straddling, and silence reap no benefits. For some brands this creates a conundrum, but for other brands it’s business per usual. Joined by industry expert, Ted Chung (Cashmere Agency, Founder & Chairman), Drs. Mitchell Hamilton and Julian K. Saint Clair will share their research and discuss best practices for meaningful brand engagement campaigns that serve social movements. This interactive session also illuminates the art and science of authentic brand storytelling that seamlessly integrates into contemporary social and political narratives.
Loyola Marymount University
Mitch Hamilton earned a B.S. in marketing from San Diego State University, an MBA from Clark Atlanta University, and a Ph.D. in consumer behavior from Syracuse University. As a doctoral student, he capitalized upon a unique opportunity to be simultaneously trained in quantitative modeling by the marketing department and experimental design by the social psychology department. It was during his time spent with the social psychologists that Mitch discovered he was wildly fascinated by human behavior, more specifically consumer behavior. Over time, Mitch gravitated toward the “consumer-self” literature and began to carve out two streams of research:  the self-brand paradigm (including: relationships, connections, and interactions) and  the digital-self (which also considers image manipulation mechanisms that are unique to digital environments). More recently, his research has been motivated by social injustice and systemic inequity.
Loyola Marymount University
Julian Saint Clair is an associate professor of marketing at Loyola Marymount University. Professor Saint Clair earned a B.A. in business administration with a concentration in marketing from Clark Atlanta University, an M.S. in business administration from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in marketing with a concentration in consumer psychology from the University of Washington. His primary research interests are consumer identity and learning as drivers of branding and advertising response. Subtopics in these areas include multiple identities, intersectionality, stereotypes, and diversity marketing – often explored in contexts focused on marketing as a force for good, such as education, health & wellness, and financial decision making. His interdisciplinary approach has led to publications in Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Education, and the Association for Consumer Research (ACR) Film Festival. An American Marketing Association (AMA) - Sheth Consortium Fellow, he has been recognized by the Ph.D. Project, AMA Foundation and National Black MBA Association for academic excellence. Saint Clair and his co-authors received the ACR 2020 Best Working Paper award for their study of diversity marketing.