No, people don’t want brands to take a stand on important issues

According to Sprout Social “people actually want brands to engage in these conversations and communicate their values”.  What a load of pure bullshit.

Sprout Social’s self-serving study is deeply flawed.  It doesn’t, for example, explain the why two of the top ten brands are still popular even though their interests directly contradict what people want.

Example one is Amazon.com.  A new study by Policy Matters Ohio found that as of August, more than 700 Amazon employees that live in Ohio also draw benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the modern-day equivalent of food stamps. .

In addition, Amazon employees reported harsh working conditions as the e-commerce giant continues to rake in money.  According to a Daily Mirror investigation of working conditions at a warehouse in England, which the paper described as a “brutal life,” warehouse workers are expected to perform lightning-fast packing speeds while dealing with heavy lifting and long hours spent on their feet at Amazon’s sprawling distribution centers.

Sprout says brands have to be more transparent. Consumers are now so enchanted by their love of brands that they are studying brands to see which ones are most transparent. This makes it a little difficult to explain the world’s most successful company — Apple — which, with the possible exception of North Korea, is the most secretive enterprise in the history of mankind.

Apple also is hiding money from taxpayers. Apple has accumulated more than $128 billion in profits offshore, and probably much more, that is untaxed by the United States and hardly touched by any other country.  Nearly all of that was made over the past decade.

[Apple] would owe $59.2 billion in US taxes if these profits were not officially held offshore for tax purposes . This means that Apple has paid a miniscule 2.3 percent tax rate on its offshore profits. That confirms that Apple has been getting away with paying almost nothing in taxes on the huge amount of profits it has booked in Ireland.

Now, let’s get to the bullshit No, for the most part, consumers are not in love with brands No, consumers do not want to have a conversation with your brand, or an “authentic relationship” with it, or co-create with it, or engage with it, or dance with it, or take a shower with it and most could care less if brands are socially responsible.

However, if a brand offends some people the media jumps on it, forcing brands to apologize. Social media is usually where people go to scream about the mistreatment they get at the hands of companies. And where companies go to beg forgiveness because they are afraid that their mistakes can lead to lost sales.  Remember the fuss about Starbucks not too long ago on social media? Well, there are still lines at most Starbucks today as they continue their domination of the coffee market.

Let’s remember that the findings from Sprout Social serve them, as a potential vendor. But let’s also remember that consumers could care less about brands political or social positions. They just want a product that works or tastes good.

 

 

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