Monday, March 12, 2018

Vox Popoli: They think you will forget (Corporations going political)

A short-term perspective is why corporations believe they are free to take political action against the beliefs, interests, and values of their customers.
Within hours of announcing its decision to end a credit card relationship with the National Rifle Association, the First National Bank of Omaha found itself thrust into the center of the resurgent national gun debate.

Its Twitter and Facebook pages were flooded with comments. Some customers applauded the 160-year-old bank’s decision. Others said they would take their business elsewhere.

In the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Florida last week, businesses were making the same financial and moral calculus, quickly discovering that there is no neutral ground. As pressure mounted across various social media platforms on Friday, a number of corporations, including several car-rental companies, MetLife insurance, Symantec security software and the car pricing and information site TrueCar, abruptly announced plans to cut ties with the organization.

The actions continued on Saturday. Delta and United Airlines both issued statements saying they were ending discount programs with the N.R.A. and would ask the association to remove their information from its website.

Over the last couple of years, social media has become the preferred vehicle for the rise of consumer activism, turning the everyday purchase of dresses or shoes or, now, renting a car or buying insurance, into a form of protest or demonstration of ideology.

Marketing experts say it’s difficult to determine whether calls for boycotts can truly have an impact on a company’s business. Rather, they say, once-angry customers either forget or move on to the next event or debate.

“Memories fade. The intensity of the feelings that people have on this subject right now will feel different one month or five months from now,” said Maurice Schweitzer, a professor of operations, information and decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

This is why it is a tremendous mistake to make unprincipled exceptions because you really like Disney movies or find a cheaper flight on Delta or have a hankering for Kentucky Fried Chicken. That is precisely the mindset that converged corporations are counting on you to have in order to permit them to continue converging the wider society and culture.

Those of you who went and saw Black Panther or The Last Jedi in the theater helped make it successful, even if you made snarky critical remarks about it later.
By doing so, you increased the ability of Disney and Marvel to continue making more movies like that. By supporting the convergence, you ensure that there will be more of it.

Actions have consequences. Don't support those who are trying to destroy your culture, your faith, and your nation.