THE IMPACT OF WOKE WASHING
MetadataShow full item record
- Master of Science 
This thesis investigates the phenomenon of woke washing and the impact on consumer attitudes, perception of credibility, and behavior. With an increasing expectation for brands to engage in socio-political matters, genuine brand activism has gained significance. However, inauthentic brand activism, known as woke washing, has emerged as a concern. Woke washing occurs when brands detach their messaging from their core values, purpose, and practices, capitalizing on social justice movements to enhance their brand image. This study explores the effects of woke washing on consumers by examining previous literature, theoretical frameworks such as brand authenticity and social activism, and empirical research. The findings reveal that woke washing significantly influences consumer responses, resulting in shifts in attitudes, perception of brand credibility, and purchase intentions. Consumers demand coherence, transparency, and responsible communication practices from brands engaging in social activism. The study emphasizes the importance of aligning brand actions with social goals, as well as proactively addressing criticism to maintain trustworthiness and minimize consumer backlash. It also highlights the vulnerability of brands in maintaining credibility when faced with negative feedback. The research contributes to the understanding of woke washing’s implications for brand management, offering theoretical and practical insights. The study calls for brands to prioritize alignment with consumer values, while ensuring authenticity and consistency between brand messages and actions. The results underscore the need for brands to navigate the landscape of woke advertising carefully, maintaining coherence between their actions and the messages they promote. Overall, this study sheds light on the consequences of woke washing on consumers and provides guidance for brand managers in effectively engaging in social activism while maintaining consumer trust and credibility. This paper also provides recommendations for future research aiming to delve further into the impact of woke washing.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2023