We all must choose our battles in life, but is mixing politics with business going too far?
The Pros of Mixing Beliefs with Business
Honey Maid recently experienced a rise in sales after releasing a commercial named Dad & Papa, that shows a happy family with two fathers. Honey Maid has been very proud of their pro-LGBT stance and it has benefited them greatly to do so. This is a great example of a “win” when mixing politics with business. What were some of the pros in this case?
Authenticity in business. In marketing, we talk a lot about creating an authentic image that your customers can trust in. By taking a stance on certain issues despite the risks, users can see you as an honest company that isn’t afraid to speak from the heart.
Passion and compassion. As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to have passion in what you do and what you put into the world. However, by choosing and sticking to a particular stance, you can also prove to customers that you care about the issues that affect them.
Strengthening customer loyalty. When a customer sees that a company not only shares their values, but also isn’t afraid to show it, it can greatly strengthen their loyalty. As mentioned above, Honey Maid had an immediate increase of sales after premiering their pro-LGBT commercial.
The Cons of Mixing Beliefs with Business
In 2012, Chick-fil-A ended up in a same-sex marriage controversy following a series of public comments made by the chief operating officer and donations towards anti-LGBT rights groups. This caused a huge backlash, especially among college students, who launched efforts to ban or remove their restaurants from campus. For this brand, stating their beliefs damaged their brand. When can mixing beliefs and business be the wrong thing to do?
Bad press. No business wants to have bad press and unfortunately, politics can cause a lot of it. So instead of being able to focus on your company’s newest products and services, you may find yourself busy with crisis management.
Too much talk. Lately it feels like you can’t get away from the topic of politics. It’s on the news, it’s all over social media, and now even companies are talking about it. All this talk is not only distracting from your brand, but it may be turning your customers off despite what their own stances may be.
Weakening customer loyalty. While taking a stance can boost customer loyalty, it can also weaken it as well. If a customer feels that your company’s values goes against their own, you may find yourself with a boycott on your hands.
When it comes down to it, mixing politics with business is risky. However, not saying anything can be a statement in itself. In the end, you must consider what kind of message is best for your brand and what risks you are willing to take for it. Should a “brand” have any right to a belief or stance at all? What do you think?