Businesses Cashing in On Political Divide

posted by iHeartMedia's Nik Rajkovic -

Looks like the red state versus blue state divide can result in cold, hard green for companies taking a political stance -- if they can put up with criticism from the other side.

From Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby to mom-and-pop shops, more businesses are drawing a clear line about where they stand on public policy and national issues.

The latest incident involved White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders who was refused service while dining out with her family, just because she worked for the Trump administration.

“People will start patronizing the restaurant if they believe the same values and same stance as the owner, or they will be posting bad reviews and protesting if they disagree, and this is just the latest manifestation of a growing trend in this country of a divided nation,” says Dr. Scott Sonenshein, the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management at Rice University.

“The upside is you're contiuing to rally a bunch of people who support your same type of views, but the downside is you're turning away other potential customers who might have patronized your business had your views not been known,” he added.

Dr. Jeffery Patterson, adjunct lecturer at University of Texas-Austin, says the business culture now involves aligning your brand with a certain issue.

“In this knowledge economy, we find that businesses and corporate social responsibility, there's expectations from their clients about them being able to invovlve themselves in a socially responsible manner, he says.

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