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Why People Believe Brands Should or Should Not Take a Political Stand

Why People Believe Brands Should or Should Not Take a Stand

Why?

It’s a good question to pose in surveys because it often provides sentiment that cannot be gleaned from numerical values alone. Typically, a good way to include it is as an optional question – with an open-ended comment field – immediately following a quantitative question that’s central to a survey.

A few weeks ago, we published results to a survey of 263 respondents – Should Brands Take a Public Stand on Politics?  It wasn’t just the title of the survey, it was also the central question – and accordingly – it was followed by the question “Why?”

We received 73 open-ended responses in total (19-yes, 35-no, 19-unsure). A word cloud of the responses is nearby – the larger the word, the more frequently it was used – and below is a representative sample of verbatim comments received.

Why People Believe Brands Should or Should Not Take a StandThose that answered yes (19) brands should take a public stand on political issues, gave the following reasons why:

  • “They are a part of the community and are entitled to a voice.”
  • “It’s a free country.”
  • “It’s their right to free speech.”
  • “Values matter.”
  • “Because businesses are private entities. They shouldn’t flip-flop to appease a select few.”
  • “Because it will give the people a better feel of the type of people/person that they are patronizing.”
  • “Because it would probably make more of a difference.”
  • “Because they can help speak for the victim.”
  • “Businesses should be permitted to reflect the beliefs of the owners if the owner wishes to do so, and is willing to accept the resulting fall-out, if any.”

Those that answered no (35) brands should take a public stand on political issues, gave the following reasons why:

  • “Because having a platform doesn’t automatically mean you’re qualified to assert yourself as a public authority on issues that don’t concern your business’ field of expertise.”
  • “Because opinions are bad for business.”
  • “Businesses and brands shouldn’t be affiliated with political parties they should remain neutral.”
  • “Corporations should stay neutral.”
  • “I believe they would be taking a risk of losing sales.”
  • “It may cause them to lose customers and can ruin their reputation.”
  • “I don’t think business and politics should go together this way.”
  • “I will boycott them. I already do.”
  • “It is just adding to the divisiveness of our country.”
  • “It is not their place to push politics.”
  • “Just sell me a product that l need.”
  • “It’s not fair to make all stakeholders in a business have to support a social or political agenda. Why can’t people make those choices on their own?”
  • “They have way more money for political influence than the average citizen.”

Those that answered they were unsure (19) whether brands should take a public stand on political issues, gave the following reasons why:

  • “Depends on the business.”
  • “Controversy in workplaces”
  • “Controversy does not help to sell products; however some products/brands are inherently part of the issue and need to show their stand.”
  • “I can’t imagine they would do so for moral reasons.”
  • “I think they should carefully consider what they support; charities and children’s issues are always good.”
  • “If a business exists to make money for its investors and owners, taking public stands on political issues can only lead to loss of business from those who do not go along with that view.”
  • “We have become such a divisive nation that boycotting has become a major political action.”
  • “If laws made affect the business has a right to be involved.”
  • “Only if the issue directly affects the business or brand.”

* * *

You can read about the entire study here, and presentation with all the charts, analysis and demographics is available for download in PDF format from SlideShare.


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Photo credit: Instagram.com/frankstrong

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