American Elephants

Wise Businesses Are Intent on Pleasing their Customers by The Elephant's Child

American business used to know that one did not play politics with the business. Businesses were intent on offering good service or good products to a wide variety of customers, all of whom had their own politics. The customers did not bring their political choices into the business, and did not hear about the choices of the business while they were deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

Whether the CEO of the business or the manager of the store donated to or volunteered for a campaign was their own concern. Nobody connected with the business wore campaign buttons or tee-shirts, and they tried not to appear where customers might see them and object. It was just considered the way to do business. What happened?

I’m not quite sure just what Colin Kaepernick was protesting with the “taking a knee” during the national anthem. Some reported that it was opposition to police shooting black citizens accidentally or on purpose, though statistics show clearly that more white men are shot than black men by police. In any case, other black football players followed suit, and there got to be many players kneeling. The NFL took some time to react at all, but soon noticed that the people who paid to watch a game, whether in person or online, didn’t react favorably about a bunch of protesting players. They had paid a hefty sum of money for their tickets, not to watch political posturing, and they were offended by the insult to the national anthem. But you know how that all played out. Kaepernick did not get signed on as a NFL lead quarterback. But these are pampered football players earning millions.

Nike, seller of athletic shoes made in Asian sweatshops, and sold for high prices decided for some unknown reason to build a new advertising campaign  “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. (Nike swoosh) Just do it.” Uh huh.

A new report from Morning Consult reveals consumer opinions of Nike have shifted rapidly since announcing their new campaign with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Across nearly every demographic, perceptions of Nike’s brand have fallen, including among key consumer groups. 

The report features over 8,000 interviews conducted among American adults, including 1,694 interviews pre-campaign launch (8/26/18 – 9/3/18) and 5,481 interviews post-campaign launch (9/4/18 – 9/5/18). Additionally, Morning Consult conducted a study among 1,168 adults in the U.S. about Nike’s ad and the decision to choose Kaepernick as the face of the campaign.

Nike’s net favorability among consumers declined 34 points. Among younger generations, Nike users, African American and other key demographics favorability declined sharply. Before the announcement, 49 percent of Americans said they were certain or very likely to buy Nike products — dropped by 10 percent.

At Powerline, Steven Hayward did a special “week in pictures” just for Nike.

Of course everyone had a good time making fun of Nike, their business, and their shoes. Not so much their favorable ratings.

But it would seem that playing politics with your business is still not a good idea, perhaps even more so. Levi’s has jumped in with the gun control thing, as has Dick’s Sporting Goods. Silicon Valley is just beginning to grasp the problems they have started as worldwide reactions from governments are suggesting that regulation may well be necessary.

Americans are very touchy about freedom of speech, and freedom to go about their lives without someone else’s politics being shoved down their throats. You don’t attack other people’s patriotism. There are lots of unspoken rules that common sense should detect. Taking care to observe them is the way we manage, for the most part, to get along.

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Taking a knee, or genuflecting, what a waste. The lords and ladies at court made obiesance to the king by genuflecting. More likely than any racial thing, Mr. Kaepernick was showing respect to the flag, the NFL, and the game which made him a lot of money.


Comment by philohippous

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