For a business, taking a stand on public issues is a double-edged sword.
Researchers from Duke and Harvard offer research asserting that “CEO activism can sway public opinion—and also increase interest in buying the company’s products.”
Research from Weber Shandwick reveals that millennials are significantly more likely to buy products from—as well as work for—companies if their CEOs take public stands on controversial but relevant issues.
More than half of consumers say they buy or boycott brands based on the brand’s stance on a social or political issue, according to the 2017 Edelman Earned Brand report. Companies feel increasing pressure to take social or political stands. More than two-thirds of “belief-driven” buyers will not buy products from a company that remains silent on an issue they believe should be addressed.
Brand managers are not politicians
Others warn that wading into social or political issues poses substantial risks.