CEO Brian Cornell’s trans-bathroom blooper underscores why biz and politics don’t mix.
One tiny but politically charged blog post created a loss of upwards of $15 Billion dollars for Target. The backlash was quick and severe. Target spent $20 Million dollars to build private bathroom stalls. Angry customers were not appeased. CEO Brian Cornell’s recent statement/appeal probably won’t bring them back.
Cornell told the Wall Street Journal that he did not approve the blog post. Well yeah- does the CEO of a multi billion dollar company spend his days approving blog posts? Anyway he cites that he wasn’t part of the email chain.
His explanation was basically that it wasn’t something that could be walked back. That’s true. You know what they say about the internet, once it’s out there it’s out there. But out is not always out and proud. Especially when it doesn’t pay off.
In an effort to stay afloat Target will be making a “seismic shift.” Interestingly, part of that effort will include opening smaller locations on college campuses. Looks like they’re hoping that “Liberal” students will have enough money on their parents’ credit card to keep the lights on.
Other companies probably regretted entering into the deadly mix.
Companies like Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, TJ Maxx, and others have all been polluted by political branding. A couple of recent bloopers really stand out.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz alienated half his customer base by telling them that if they didn’t support gay marriage he didn’t want their business.
But they just weren’t pissed off enough.
So he declared that Starbucks would hire 10,000 refugees. Americans were outraged, citing unemployed Americans and particularly, unemployed Vets. Another sticky problem-hiring someone based on their nationality is against the law.
Stocks plummeted. In an effort to win back customers, Starbucks will pay Schultz to step down. Not exactly a punishment though. They’re going to give him the same salary just to go away.
Last year’s Pepsi boycott was said to be a big misunderstanding based on “fake news.” But CEO Indra Nooyi did make politically charged statements. Bad idea.
Apparently it’s hard to keep Anti-Trump sentiments to yourself for very long.
Pepsi just had to pull their ad that seemed to marry the bubbly brown caffeine laced brew with “hip #resistance.” “Liberals” enjoy Pepsi while rioting and committing treason and sedition. Pepsi’s magic powers can even appease the nasty, horrible police. The ad also hammered home the anti-white message when Kendall had to pull off her “blondness” to be “cool.”
Keep it to yourself.
Although the Left would like to have us believe otherwise, most people really don’t care if someone is gay or transgender. They just don’t want it constantly shoved in their face, or promoted to their their kids. And they don’t want their rights trampled on to please a small portion of the population.
Thing is, whether it’s about LGBT, trans, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, favorite candidate or whatever-is it worth tanking your company? Is it worth blowing off half your customer base and hope that others swarm to your defense to make up for losses?
Sometimes people just wanna have a donut.
If consumers are all that concerned about what company values they’re investing in, they can visit their website and see what causes they support.
When privately held companies make a stand, that’s literally their business.
But publicly owned companies are a different matter. The duty of CEOs and others on the board of a company must ensure profitability for stockholders above all else.
They might want to reconsider the trend to be trendy.
Pandering to pain-in-the ass customers-the death blow for business.
Retailers shot themselves in the foot with that one.
Due to competing for sales, adjusting for fluctuations in the economy and being spineless wimps, they’ve painted themselves into a corner forever with deeper and less sustainable discounts. The holiday season, once free of sales, has been forever altered by consumers’ demand for discounts. Those same customers are disgusted to see Christmas items in July, but retailers are desperate.
Retailers cave to loudmouth customers who abuse increasingly lax return privileges.
They tremble at the thought of a lawsuit, so they allow shoplifting to run rampant.
Now they’re going to let customers tell them who they should vote for, what political views they should have, what issues they should endorse, and so on. And on and on and on.
There’s no bottom to that pit.
The Google, Twitter and Facebook edge.
Google, Twitter and Facebook enjoy a distinct edge over other businesses who want to “make a political statement.” They currently have no real competition. They’re irreplaceable. They’re monopolies.
Their political statement du jour is ‘the fight against fake news.”
The self appointed “truth police” are waging war against our 2nd amendment rights. They flex their bloated bully muscle. Oh yeah? What’re you gonna do about it?
Recently You Tubers took a hit because their sites were de-monetized. You Tube claimed that advertisers were upset to see their ads running on sites that promoted racism. However, it’s largely conservative viewpoints that Truth Police find offensive. You Tube became dominated by Right-Leaners, so it will be interesting to see how that all pans out for them.
Sure there’s some start ups trying to offer alternatives, such as minds.com and gab.ai but it will take a long time to compete with the almighty reach that these giants have.
Sadly, businesses spent a fortune utilizing these sites for marketing and building their business following. When they entered the platform, they were unaware that policies would change. Most people expect general policies such as “No racism, gambling, adult material,” etc. But “truth” as defined by an opposing ideology is Orwellian.
IMO-businesses and advertisers need to mind their own business.
They’d be better off keeping separation of business and politics as sacrosanct as separation of church and state.
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