“Be careful young Padawan” – That wise old Ben from Star Wars might be right. Taking on a “cause” could polarise your customers.
We all have values and they are worth fighting for. Sad reality is that many won’t agree with you, regardless of your intention, or your view and the cause.
The “Outrage brigade” are often waiting in the wings ready to pounce on a business if it shares its social or political views, especially on sensitive topics.
There are social feeders ready to shame based on what you say or do, regardless of the topic, right or wrong.
Supporting a cause that is topical and interesting might appear to be a great idea; might even work in your favour, but is it actually the business of your business to be a commentator on a cause?
Businesses have products and services to sell. They spend various amounts of money to promote these goods and services.
Posts like “I will never use your company again for supporting XYZ” are rampant on social feeds and can really hurt a business.
While you might feel good about taking a stand on an issue you feel passionate about, your business could suffer the effects of your views.
This was prevalent in the same sex debate in 2017 and companies that took a stand one way or the other were vilified and shamed, particularly on social media. Qantas is a great example. They fly people around for money. Gender and marriage, not their core business.
Do corporations have views? No, not really, it’s the people within who have their views and do those views represent all staff and do they represent the shareholders?
Maybe, but more likely not. When you run up the corporate flag and wave it around and take a stand publicly, outsiders think it the corporate position.
Individuals have an indeterminable right to their own views and free speech. When they express those views, they are personal to them and may not be the same views held by others in the company.
Qantas came out on one side of the same sex debate. Are those who will not fly with them now? Sure, are there people now that will fly with them because of their support? Of course.
Taking a stand can also have an adverse reaction to a business that up until their crusade , were accepted by the people who now don’t like them. It’s easy to be outraged!
Marketing your business online is a battle and a challenge so carefully consider the causes you support. Carefully weigh up any position before you commit.
It could really effect your business in an unintended way.