About a month ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided to ‘take a stand’ in defiance of Trump’s immigration executive order, which temporarily banned travel from seven Muslim countries and indefinitely banned refugees from Syria, by penning a message to the world vowing to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years, giving priority to Muslim refugees over Americans and veterans.
Adding insult to injury, the coffee giant is also offering free legal advice to employees and their families who are illegal aliens, according to CNNMoney.
ZeroHedge Within a few weeks, Schultz quickly found out the hard way that while most adult-aged Americans can agree that they like coffee, roughly 50% disagree with his leftist political opinions. Which, according to Yahoo Finance, has sent the company’s “brand perception” into a downward spiral since January 29th.
Starbucks 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%, according to YouGov.
Of course, this isn’t the only time Starbucks has alienated customers by publicly pursuing a controversial political agenda. As noted back in March 2015, the Company was forced to abandon its “Race Together” campaign that was intended “to be a catalyst for a larger conversation on race” relations in the United States but really just served to piss off a bunch of anxious people eager to grab their cup of coffee and be on their way.