Is ‘Woke-Free’ Branding/Advertising a Wise Move for Your Business? Exploring the Risks

Sammy Braschos
4 min readSep 29, 2023
Image from Diane Picchiottino on Unsplash, Edited

In a climate where the political spectrum seems to extend to every facet of life, brands find themselves caught up in the vibrant tapestry of socio-political ideologies. The plot has thickened in recent times, with some brands boldly stepping away from what they perceive as a ‘liberal agenda’, choosing instead to anchor themselves in the seemingly placid waters of ‘woke-free’ marketing. As they sail these waters, however, one can’t help but wonder if this is a voyage to uncharted success or an ill-advised adventure that could lead them into a maelstrom.

The pendulum of corporate America has always swung between profit and social responsibility. This delicate dance has been fairly formulaic: avoid the murky waters of political discourse to keep the consumer boat steady. But with the dawn of a hyper-politicised era, some companies have decided to break the mould. For example, Unitus, a clothing brand that grew out of the ethos of popular NBA player Jonathan Isaac, leans heavily on the trinity of ‘faith, family and freedom’. Unitus, like others in its league, sees a market in catering to those disillusioned by what they see as mainstream brands’ relentless push towards progressive ideologies.

But here’s where the waters get choppy. By embarking on a journey of ‘Woke-Free’ marketing, are these brands navigating towards a safe harbor or are they veering off course?

Sailing against the tide of inclusivity and diversity might offer a temporary haven to a certain clientele. There’s a sense of camaraderie among like-minded consumers who feel besieged by the prevailing winds of progressive ideologies. Platforms like PublicSq. have emerged as a marketplace for such brands, offering solace to those feeling marooned by the mainstream corporate narrative. This narrative, often seen as a liberal Trojan horse, has indeed spurred a backlash from a section of consumers who yearn for a haven that resonates with their conservative ethos.

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Sammy Braschos

7+ yrs in social media & marketing, PHD Germany & envy GmbH strategist. Awarded by Gerety Awards, Effies, & NY Festivals. Driven to connect brands & audiences.