Brands Don't Do That
Posted: Jan 19 2017
We can hardly believe, the inauguration has come and gone. In the Coeur office, we talk about politics a fair amount. Not as much as we talk about clothes or working out, but it’s not uncommon at all to hear a political pronouncement come from one part of the office or another on a regular basis. Now, to be clear, they tend to be a bit “left of center”, but Kebby has made mention of California’s love of taxes, so we can definitely see both sides of the aisle. There’s no question that everyone in the office is their own person and during the course of a day we discuss a surprisingly wide range of topics that are important to us individually and collectively as a company.
Still, we get nervous about sharing our views in public. After an election that was incredibly contentious, we posted a blog where we proclaimed our love for being positive and made mention of the fact that, as a woman-owned and women’s specific brand, we would have been happy to see a female president. While we did receive an enormous amount of support for the post, we also received a couple of emails saying that “Brands don’t do that”. At least one writer stated flat out that we shouldn’t talk about politics, the state of the world, or anything else that is important. Instead, we should only talk about our product and leave everything else off the table. Well…
Wish granted. We’re definitely not going to discuss how we prefer inclusion over exclusion. You’ll also never hear us talk about how we wish that our politicians would make decisions based on the merits of an idea, not which side came up with it. Yes ma’am. We have learned our lesson. It’s all product reviews, nutrition advice, and training plans from here on out.
In the office, we elect to "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"
Sure, Coeur is made up of human beings and as humans we have feelings and opinions, but we're going to leave that part of ourselves at home going forward. Our desire to make the world better by encouraging women to support each other definitely falls into the controversial category and so we’re not going to make mention of it in public.
Hills are meant to be climbed because they’re hard. And doing the hard work, makes you a better person. We know that, but going forward, maybe we shouldn’t do the hard stuff. In other words, we should act more like every *brand out there.
Had we known when we first started talking about our values, what we know now, we probably would have changed our approach. After all, staying away from the important issues is safe. No one is going to get mad at a product post. That’s why we don’t talk about anything but gear. We’re certainly not going to mention how proud we are of all our ambassadors like Katie Colville who are attending the Women’s March in various cities.
We’re also not going to mention that a glass ceiling does exist and that we’ve seen it time and again even in the sports we love so much. Nope…not going to do it. We’re most certainly not going to mention that there’s still a bias in media in favor of body types that are almost impossible to achieve and how weight and appearance are issues that should be discussed. And you can bet that we’ll never mention doping and how the only way to break the omerta or code of silence is to support groups like Clean Sport Collective.
“Been there, done that” will be our response when the next idealist ambassador or employee brings up a cause close to our heart. We’re going to tell her we don’t talk about that type of thing at Coeur. Now, we might still give her time off to go to a rally or two and we might make a very short social media post about said cause, but that’s it. Nothing controversial.
The point is, that we’re a clothing brand and we know we make very high quality gear. That should be enough..right? We certainly don’t want to risk causing someone to truly think about their positions by having an open dialog. That’s how we’ll continue to be a…
Winner. That’s what we want to be as a brand. A winner. And winners aren’t controversial and we won’t be either.
* To be clear, there are actually several great brands that are brave enough to take a stand. Two that come to mind are Burton Snow Boards who paid for their employees to go the march and Title Nine who donated 9% of their sales to women running for public office. Thank you both for being role models.