LBN – Late Breaking News February 24, 2017

Starbucks’ ‘Brand Perception’ Takes A Massive Hit After Announcing Plans To Hire 10,000 Refugees:

About a month ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided to ‘take a stand’ in defiance of Trump‘s immigration executive order and penned a message to the world vowing, among other things, to hire 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years and “build bridges, not walls, with Mexico”.  Here are some excerpts from the politically charged message drafted by Schultz with “deep concern and a heavy heart”:
I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise. Let me begin with the news that is immediately in front of us: we have all been witness to the confusion, surprise and opposition to the Executive Order that President Trump issued on Friday, effectively banning people from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, including refugees fleeing wars. I can assure you that our Partner Resources team has been in direct contact with the partners who are impacted by this immigration ban, and we are doing everything possible to support and help them to navigate through this confusing period.
Well, Schultz quickly found out the hard way that while most adult-aged Americans can agree that they like coffee,roughly 50% disagree with his left-leaning political opinions.  Which, according to Yahoo Finance, has sent the company’s “brand perception” into a downward spiral since January 29th.

The coffee giant’s consumer perception levels have fallen by two-thirds since late January, according to YouGov BrandIndex.

The perception tracker measures if respondents have “heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative.” In Starbucks’ case, perception is still overall positive, but significantly lower than it was prior to CEO Howard Schultz published a public letter outlining the company’s plans to give refugees jobs.

YouGov says that there’s reason to believe backlash will impact the chain’s bottom line. Two days before Starbucks’ announcement, 30% of consumers said they’d consider buying from Starbucks the next time they were craving coffee, the highest proportion in nearly a year. Now, the percentage is down to 24%.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu
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