By John Friedman
Over the last few weeks companies have been publicly abandoning their relationships with the National Rifle Association in the wake of public sentiment and the ‘never again’ movement. Delta Airlines, which offered an NRA discount that less than 15 people used, found itself getting pushback for doing so. And FedEx found itself getting criticism for failing to do so.
And so the question is … what is the cost, the danger, the risk associated with taking a stand.
So I asked. The results were interesting. Nearly two out of three respondents - 63% - said that it would matter what the stand was, which makes sense. Depending on the issue, the reasoning goes, people will decide whether they want to do business with the company or not.
Surprisingly, even when given the choice of it being issue-specific, a quarter (25%) of respondents said that they would be more likely to want to do business with a company that took a stand, rejecting the notion that the stand itself mattered. Presumably, they respect an organization for having and using its voice, rather than sitting silently on the sidelines.
Only 13% said that they would be less likely - that they want their business without a side of advocacy, even with the choice of their decision being influenced by the issue.
These results are from a poll that I conducted myself via Twitter (which means it was only of those following a person who writes/talks/tweets about corporate responsibility), so the results are not representative or scientific. But they do indicate that for brands considering taking a stand, the upside of doing so far outweighs the risk of alienating people by not making values-based policy decisions.
So we can likely expect more and more companies to have the courage of their convictions. Because, in the eyes of almost 9 out of 10 people, it is the right thing to do—depending on the cause.
Photo: Wikipedia Commons