Citizen Rundown: Vol. 2

June 13, 2023
Woman on Bench

Welcome to The Rundown by Citizen, a monthly round up of conversations that count. We’re offering bite-sized big thinking on recent headlines from around the world to help keep you in touch for your next water cooler, virtual boardroom or dinner party chat.

Know Better, Do Better

As the old adage goes, when we know better, we do better. A flurry of recent research and warnings paint an alarming picture when it comes to social media and mental health, particularly that of young people. We know that the earlier kids get smartphones, the worse their mental health as adults (source). We know that as social media use has risen, so have self reports and diagnoses among adolescents of anxiety and depression (source). To be clear, there is data that points to positive impacts of social media too – like finding community or achieving a goal together – but heavy screen time generally displaces activities like sleep, exercise and social connection that are vital to developing brains. As communicators, we see a role for brands to step in and step up. L.L. Bean quit social media for May, opting instead to challenge its customers to more outdoor time in nature, while TikTok has launched mental health resources and toolkits. Brands can and should be conscious of social media’s impact, and we’ll continue to advise clients on creating spaces online that foster connection and shared experiences, letting kids be kids.

Crocs And Birds

When Crocs announced a delay in its net zero commitment, Allbirds quickly jumped in to offer up its tools, tactics and strategies in helping them get there. Allbirds, who (coincidentally?) has the world’s first net zero shoe coming out next year, is notoriously transparent and went as far as sharing an email address on LinkedIn to explore partnership with Crocs. With “climate change” being cited as a top concern among consumers, Crocs may be onto something with this approach. Crocs is already full steam ahead, but we love to see openness and collaboration to raise the bar for the industry.

Let’s Be Real

More proof that brand vulnerability breeds fandom. Instead of defending why Align leggings are worth the cost, Lululemon stepped directly into Gen Z and invited anyone with a dupe to trade it in for the original at its “dupe swap”. Gen Z are more likely than any other group (24%) to want people to notice what they’re wearing which has made the dupe trend prominent within this age group. Lululemon is proving that while luxury brand knockoffs are nearly perfect these days – the real thing matters.

You’re Flushing

For centuries menstruating bodies have not seen options for flushable pads. Until now. London based brand Fluus learned that 0% of period products on the market are labeled as flushable, yet 30% of them end up in drains and pipes. Because of this, an estimated 28,114 tonnes of waste is generated annually from menstrual products in the UK. With Fluus products boasting a patent-pending microplastic free biodegradable technology, this is helping to move in the right direction of making periods less harmful. The brand hopes this is just the first step in moving towards less plastic products ending up down the drain and in landfills.

Influencer: Redefined

The world of influencer marketing has seen rapid change in the last decade. Maybe more influencer marketing isn’t what every brand needs. Instead, brands need to re-evaluate how they do influencer marketing and understand how the core definition of an influencer has evolved. Our Chief Digital Officer, Crystalyn Stuart-Loayza, and SVP of Creator Marketing, Neil Mohan, discussed how modern influence is being re-defined in our latest LinkedIn Live. Watch it here.

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