For many years, conventional marketing wisdom held that brands should steer clear of political issues. The reasoning was simple enough: What company could afford to alienate a single customer by taking a position on something controversial?
But as the socially conscious millennial generation has taken its place as a $1.4 trillion spending bloc, there’s been a marked shift in this thinking. In 2018, data from Sprout Social found that a whopping 70% of consumers aren’t just OK with brands taking political stances, they consider it “important” that they do so—and that percentage was up from 64% in 2017.
But with some notable exceptions like Patagonia putting “Vote the Assholes Out” on the underside of its garment labels (a reference to officeholders who deny that climate change is real), the highly contentious nature of this election season makes taking a political stance a bigger risk than it’s historically been. And that