Hours after the NRA, President Donald Trump and other conservatives touted the right to bear arms and decried calls for gun control, marketer after marketer abandoned support of the NRA. This and public outrage in the wake of the Florida school shooting, swayed brands away from the organization. #BoycottNRA was a top trending topic on Twitter on Friday.
— John Dutton (@jderdoc) February 24, 2018
Sixty-six percent of consumers want brands to take a stand on issues like gun control, Sprout Social found.
Sprout Social tells Target Marketing on Friday:
The power of social influence is real. More than ever, consumers are using their buying power to put their money where their values are and threaten their loyalty to brands that don't align with them.
First National Bank started the trend by severing ties with the NRA as a result of "customer feedback" found on social.
Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA. As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.
— First National Bank (@FNBOmaha) February 22, 2018
Since then, brands abandoning the NRA ship include:
Twitter Moments shows these companies ending their discount programs with the NRA as of Friday:
- Wyndham Hotels
Most of the brand tweets are worded like this:
TrueCar is ending its car buying service relationship with the NRA effective February 28, 2018.
— TrueCar (@TrueCar) February 24, 2018
Chubb stopped underwriting NRA insurance for gun owners, The New York Times reports.
Brands altering their policies in light of public feedback is backed by recent history, including Uber ousting its leader after a former employee revealed a sexist culture; United Airlines briefly ending its overbooking policy after a passenger is dragged off of one of its planes; and McDonald’s rethinking its Szechuan sauce promotion for “Rick and Morty” fans after riots break out.
Even when dealing one-on-one with an unhappy customer, there’s really only one right answer for marketers, says Carole Billingsley, owner of Seek Social Media:
Offer an apology AND a solution: The ‘We Hear You and Value Our Customers. We Will Make This Right Immediately!’ approach This is your opportunity to turn a disgruntled customer into your brand’s evangelist! This person (or people) obviously had some sense of loyalty to your brand if they’ve spent their money with you, “liked” your Facebook fan page, and/or followed you on Twitter. Now, however, they’ve had an unpleasant experience and usually they just want to know that they’ve been listened to and that you (the people behind the brand) will make things right.
What do you think, marketers? In a previous article, Target Marketing found gun sales spiked after mass shootings and brands generally stayed silent. What changed?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: Does Gun Marketing Matter?