06 Oct What happens if consumers decide to boycott your brand
More and more consumers only want to support and engage with brands that match their values and beliefs. They have used their buying power to shape actions and influence corporations.
Recently, we have had several large established brands undergo crisis situations, in which customers are boycotting their services or products. The most notorious cases being Netflix and Goya.
What is the best way to go? When faced with a crisis such as these, brands must always revert to their core brand values, and what they stand for.
This is not the first time Netflix has faced criticism or controversy over the content included on their platform. Just a few years ago, many criticized Netflix for their renowned show 13 Reasons Why claiming they were idolizing suicide. Most recently, they have faced boycotts and criticism for sexualizing young girls in the movie Cuties.
Since its inception, Netflix has built its platform following the concept of raising awareness for difficult subjects and bringing attention to tough situations. From Making of a Murderer to their many documentaries, they have never shied away from including what many would consider controversial content. Unlike other brands, Netflix has to walk a fine line. If they were to give in to the pressure of the Cuties boycott, they would be setting a dangerous precedent in which they are a prisoner to only including content that suits everyone likes and dislikes. It would be impossible to meet those standards.
That is why they must remain true to their original values and intent and continue to include content from across the spectrum. While Netflix may lose some fans over their refusal to remove Cuties, they have a loyal following and have remained true to their real purpose and brand.
Goya, on the other hand, faces a much more challenging situation. The brand has built its following and reputation as a brand that represents, serves, and supports the Hispanic community across the United States. With the comments supporting the Trump Administration from their CEO, they have isolated many Hispanics who feel that this presidency does not appreciate them, their heritage, and he is seeking to diminish their presence and importance.
Goya, for many Hispanics, no longer aligns with their values nor understands the difficulties they face as immigrants and Latinos in the United States, and therefore will not support or buy their products. Making commentary in support of the Latino community will now seem disingenuous, and a desperate attempt to regain those customers. It remains to be seen if Goya will suffer long-term implications from this crisis, but they are no longer seen as a brand truly representative of Hispanics and their issues. Rebuilding this brand will be a difficult and arduous process.
Overall, if a business faces a boycott, they must weigh the risks of giving in to the demands versus the long-term implications for the brand. Having a clear understanding of your brand, and what you represent should guide these decisions. Goya and Netflix are perfect examples of how unique a crisis can be and having a communication strategist to analyze what is the best way to take before making your next step is imperative.