What do these three people have in common? They all received professional retaliation after sending politically accused tweets to President Donald Trump.
Hubbuch was fired by the New York Post, CNN fired Griffin, and the same network canceled Aslan’s “Believer” program.
Aslan, the last to suffer the consequences, responded in a statement to the program’s cancellation, saying, among other things: he needs protection from his country Brand. ”
And that’s exactly it: driven by the Trump controversy, companies are essentially being asked to take a stand.
In addition to the New York Post and CNN, several retailers – from Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to Burlington – abandoned Ivanka Trump’s clothes and accessories (in line with the #GrabbYourWallet boycott on social media).
Where do you live?
American consumers want to know where their beloved brands are. So, do you choose a side or don’t you choose a side? This is the question that plagues many brands in today’s politically polarized environment.
If you take it aside, you can lose a large customer base with opposing views. Don’t take your side and you could be considered a scam.
But brand authenticity is a valuable opportunity for companies, as nearly nine out of ten consumers say they are willing to take steps to reward a brand for its authenticity, according to a 2016 study by Cohn & Wolfe.
The survey found that 52% of consumers would recommend the brand to third parties, 49% would swear loyalty to the brand and 20% would invest in a brand that proved to be authentic.
- Focus on what you stand for, not who
Start staying true to your company’s core values to maintain the brand’s authenticity without participating in today’s heated political debates. Do not focus on whom you stand for, but what you stand for.
Values serve as the company’s moral compass. By staying true to these values, rather than to a political figure or party, you cannot ignore consumers (and employees) with conflicting opinions. After all, it is much easier – and much less exclusive – to attribute your company’s attitude towards diversity to long-term value than to political bias.
In this way, the authenticity of the brand is maintained without necessarily showing support for one political party to the detriment of another. And because companies consist of people with different experiences and points of view, it is important to remain neutral as an organization.
- Keep your promises
Authenticity and honesty go hand in hand. Especially in today’s political landscape, consumers can know that they can trust you, keeping your word and keeping your promises.
In fact, the Cohn & Wolfe study found that, when defining authenticity, 70% of consumers prefer to “keep their promises” over noble measures such as social responsibility (57%) and environmental responsibility (55%).
- Provide transparency
Cohn & Wolfe’s research found that brand authenticity consists of three factors: reliability, respect, and realism (the 3Rs of authenticity). The reality is what the brands represent most.
In essence, consumers want to know the people, culture, and values behind a brand’s product or service. And the best way for consumers to gain brand authenticity is to maintain a sense of transparency.
So, if you decide to express your political position or if you don’t want to take sides, try to be faithful to what your brand is built on – your mission, vision, and values. The authenticity of the brand will come later.