Companies Used To Stay Quiet About Politics. In 2018, Social Causes Became Integral To Their Branding.

by Stephen Garner

Companies used to remain mum on any topic deemed impolite for the dinner table — religion, sex, politics. But in the Trump era, even traditionally apolitical brands like Walmart have taken quiet action, withdrawing their financial support from public figures with views that clearly cross a line. And many companies are being even more explicit about their views, weighing in on subjects like women’s rights, gun control, and immigration. In today’s political climate in which rallies, boycotts, and public outrage are constantly in the news, it may be worth the risk for companies to speak out about their politics, according to marketing experts. “It used to be you didn’t want to upset anyone,” said Jessica Li, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Kansas. “But studies show that the country is very divided, and if it’s divided politically, brands might feel like they’re able to take a stronger stand and get more support from their target market. It’s a way for them to get people talking about their brand.” Read more at Vox.