A recent survey was released that found 57% of global consumers buy or boycott products because of a brand’s stance on political or social issues.

As U.S. companies increasingly enter the political arena through publically disclosed candidate contributions, endorsements and leadership stances on controversial policies, it’s critical from both a messaging and overall sales standpoint that brands have immediate access to real-time insights on their customer base. Insights that both accurately inform where their consumers stand on the issues of the day and precision online targeting that engages new customers that share the brand’s ideology and more likely to convert because of it.

At the end of the day, 100% of the business outweighs 50% of the vote. And while brands can capitalize on opportunities to inspire and engage both existing and new customers through bold leadership on controversial issues, without real-time consumer intelligence that validates this type of issues- based messaging, brands run the risk of choosing politics over profits.

At Resonate, we leveraged our real-time dynamic behavioral models to identify and analyze registered voters in the U.S. who are consumers of brands that have recently engaged in the political discourse. We looked at where these consumers stand on the issues relative to the brand’s political activity. The results are below.

Since its beginning, environmental and climate advocacy have been a part of the Patagonia DNA as an outdoor and adventure clothing store that makes strides to connect their customers to environmental politics. This included a million dollar “Vote our Planet” GOTV effort in 2016 and a 200,000 donation to an environmental group backed by major Democrat funders.

Resonate insights on Patagonia customers within the last year who are US registered voters:

  • 19% believe that climate change is a top societal concern
  • They are 17% more likely to be Democrats
  • They are 139% more likely to attend a rally or protest because of a societal/political issue
  • They are 109% more likely to travel further or pay more for a product based on an important political or societal issue

NASCAR chairman and CEO, Brian France, endorsed Trump for president last cycle claiming Trump’s leadership was desperately needed. Roughly 93% of NASCAR’s political donations went to Republicans last cycle.

Resonate insights on NASCAR fans who are US registered voters:

  • They are 26% more likely to be Republicans
  • They are 44% more likely to support Donald Trump
  • They are 17% more likely to be a swing voter, like NASCAR’s CEO, who supported Barack Obama in 2008 and then Mitt Romney in 2012

Starbucks is known not to shy away from current political and social issues. Starbucks’ former CEO in 2016, Howard Scultz, publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton last cycle and 2016 company contributions heavily favored Democrats.

Resonate insights on Starbucks customers within the last year who are US registered voters:

  • 35% are Democrats, 30% Independents, 29% Republicans
  • They are 20% more likely to support increasing the minimum wage
  • They are 15% more likely to vote based on education policy
  • They are 38% more likely to buy a product based on the companies’ green behavior

Papa John’s
Papa John’s CEO, John Schnatter, is known to be publically outspoken on business regulations steering the country in the wrong direction and the need for limited government. He has also opposed Obamacare.

Resonate insights on Papa John’s customers within the last year who are US registered voters:

  • They are 86% more likely to believe healthcare issues should be addressed by market forces and not government regulations
  • They are 16% more likely to oppose increasing the minimum wage
  • They are 13% more likely to travel further or pay more for a product based on an important political or societal issue

*insights compared to average US registered voter

When it comes to politics, profits and policies, brands can find success in their public positions if they know their audience, in real-time, and can speak to their hearts and minds on the most relevant issues of the day. The data can also prevent a brand from alienating large percentages of their base because they assume their customers align with issues important to company leadership.

If you’d like to learn more on where exactly your audience stands on the most relevant issues and how to shape your messaging and creative strategy around those insights, contact Resonate.

Resonate fuses the nation’s largest proprietary voter survey data with dynamic behavioral analysis to generate the most accurate, real-time insights and predictive modeling at scale. Our end-to-end data, analytics and digital media activation solution unifies strategy and action to drive campaign wins.