Sunday, February 05, 2017

Let's give credit where credit is due ...

This was the New York Times teaser on a story about the plummeting appeal of Trump branded products in retail outlets. Short summary: mass retailers are deciding they don't want the aggravation that goes with the Trump name. Having at least half the country pissed off at them isn't good business.

But the headline disguises the real story here. Popular consumer boycotts aimed at pressuring retailers don't just spring up without organization. This is not solely about individuals following their consciences when they spend money. Smart organizations are picking vulnerable targets (hint: any corporation that judges its advertising image is vital to its sales) and letting people know that not buying Trump junk makes one small, mildly hurtful, statement of disgust with our cartoon First Family.

The Times article does name one such effort: #grabyourwallet. This seems to be just a Google list of targets, but in the era of social media, such a list can go far, especially with national, conflict-averse, enterprises. Smaller, regional, and more niche marketers are likely to be impervious without more organization. And if the boycott needs to go more deeply -- saying not just "I won't buy Trump," but also "I won't come in your stores that feature Trump" -- organization requires at least rudimentary means to deliver the message to the target.

Sum of Us has been organizing boycotts of bad corporate citizens for years; among other efforts, they have a campaign that is driving mainstream advertisers off Trump's favorite "news" platform, the Breibart website. That's targeting.

I'm sure boycotts will become even better organized as we move through Trump incumbency. That's what the family gets for trying to loot the country as a closely held commercial extortion racket.

I learned all this in my head, in shivering limbs, and in my feet when I worked on the United Farm Worker Union boycott of grapes in the northeast for several years in the '70s. Si se puede! Boycotts can be powerful.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails