Social media has not only changed the way people communicate with each other but how global brands look to connect to their potential customers.
Increasingly, companies are now blurring the lines between business and morality to engage with the hearts and minds of consumers in addition to their pocketbooks.
Fashion designer Kenneth Cole has been on the leading edge of corporate social activism for decades, making provocative commentary on controversial issues of the day through the company's pun-driven advertising. "I was able to marry all of my personal and the brand's sentiments together in our messaging."
He said Friday, in a CNBC interview, that social responsibility has become part of the way of doing business. "We've been able to … connect to people on not just what they stand in but what they stand for, not just what they look like on the outside but who they are on the inside."
For example, Kenneth Cole Productions, the company he founded more than 30 years ago, was one of the first companies to publicly show support for gay rights in the 1990s—years before this summer's Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry.