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Ipsos, a leading market researcher, tested some well known brands and their need to keep their reputations safe by avoiding the political fray.
Through their research, they looked at many brands, some who have already dealt with the wrath of Trump, and looked at options these companies could take.
The survey looked at the rising nationalist and populist trends that underlie our political landscape and tested their potential impacts on brands and marketing. Download the full POV here.
The survey revealed that a quarter of Americans have stopped using products or services from a company because of their political leanings or because of recent protests or boycotts. Among the 28 companies polled, those with the highest rate of consumer boycotts also experienced the worst stock market performance.
These consumer actions should not surprise companies. Actions by companies, staff and brand ambassadors can take on unintended consequences. The need to plan and prepare is key. In recent years, the partisan divide is growing with many Americans lacking confidence in politics and politicians. As Americans have turned to social groups and ideology as organizing forces for their identity, partisan identification has exploded.
Companies should be taking a closer look at their risk profile. In the past, companies have been able to keep their heads down, however these days it is hard to hide from President Trump’s Twitter rants, which often name specific companies. It is increasingly hard to predict what factors will drive a company into the limelight, forcing companies to prepare for this unwanted press before it happens. Brands should also have a complete understanding of their customers so as to avoid acting against their base.
Monitoring social media is necessary as customers become more polarized. Tracking the early conception and spread of brand-political connections can give companies necessary warning for market impacts. Finally, contingency plans to respond to political crises can save companies from going viral for the wrong reasons.