The world is getting more polarized these days. It seems like in every political issue, everyone is divided. Worse, the conventional wisdom in political debates is good as everyone seems to be easily angered. Decency is lost in the conversation and arguments that we don’t hear before because they are just rude and inhumane are resurfacing.
Given the political climate, it is inevitable for some companies to take a stand and let their voices be heard. Some of them would even throw a shade to government officials, especially US President Donald Trump.
There were instances when certain brands have faced backlash because of their stance. This reached a point when people started calling for the company to be boycotted. Others got more love from the public especially those who share the same views.
According to Sprout data, 66% of consumers say that it is important for brands to take public stands on various political issues. Of this group, 58% said that they are fine seeing this conversation happening via social media. Despite the fact that people wants companies to speak up, 66% of them said that their views rarely affect their opinions on social issues.
Aside from just expressing their views, people are more receptive when they donate to specific causes or they raise awareness and encourage people to take steps to support certain causes. This is also a view that is shared by both parties. Of those who identify themselves as liberal, 78% believe that brands should take a stand while 52% of conservatives share the same feeling.
Don’t piggyback on issues
Although taking a stand helps, most consumers will spot it if the company is just piggybacking on an issue that they don’t really care about. This will make them feel worse about the company instead of patronizing them more. In short, before companies start taking a stand on social issues, they must have already created a brand of supporting the said cause even before.
Make sure the company has a good history
There are times when companies feel like giving their two cents on certain issues that are sure to make people love them. Popular issues like increasing minimum wage or eliminating assault on women are among them. However, if the company has a history of not giving higher salary to the employees or have brushed off a sexual assault allegation of an employee in the past, the company has just lost its credibility. Instead of allowing the issue to build the company, it could tear the company down.
Calculate the risks
If you are running a business, you will always face risks if you take a stand. Not taking a stand on an issue that is close to the company’s brand could also hurt the company. Therefore, you need to have a calculated response on certain issues so you won’t turn off certain customers. However, if you think that it is worth pushing some away, go ahead and do it.
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