Boycotts are a weird thing. Companies make hundreds of decisions, and large companies have hundreds if not thousands of employees that make decisions all the time. Every decision risks alienating or otherwise pissing off one group or another. For example, I went to a local restaurant with my two youngest kids once on a quiet Saturday morning, and after sitting for 25 minutes with no waiter taking our order or even bringing us water or coffee, I left in frustration and vowed never to return. I took my business to a competitor and for the next year went out of my way to not have a meal at the offending restaurant. Could it have just been a bad day, a mistake by a server, or even a disgruntled employee that was later fired anyway? Don’t know, and don’t care, because it spoiled my morning and I was determined to economically ensure my wrath was felt in the restaurants pocket book.
If that restaurant repeatedly treated customers like this, over time more and more would lose patience and go elsewhere. This is really important with restaurants because normally there are hundreds of venues in even a small city. When you have a myriad of choices, you don’t have to tolerate bad service.
Which brings me neatly to Bud Light and Target.
Remember Gillette? I used Gillette razors in the past and even introduced my wife to their female brand. Gillette could have remained the razor company for everyone, but it dipped its toe into the “toxic masculinity” bandwagon. Big mistake, because when you have options, you can go elsewhere. As analyzed here, it took a hit, potentially on the order of $350 million. I personally subscribed to Jeremy’s Razors and never looked back, and I suspect others did too.
Bud Light has always been the cheap beer choice of party goers everywhere. Need a non-offensive beer that is sure to please the limited palates of both college sororities and aging Boomer men at the local bar? Then order a Bud Light, because you can’t go wrong. That is, until you decide to insult a large portion of your customer base when they can easily pick another beer brand.
Budweiser is suffering the same fate as Gillette. What happens when its customers discover there are plenty of non-patronizing beer brands happy to serve you a fine brew without all the woke silliness? Once they get hooked, do you think those people are coming back, no matter what sort of American flag/military colors/Clydesdale commercials you run after? Not happening. That might have worked before the microbrewery revolution, but that strategy is no longer viable.
Target seems to have joined that group. You can get away with a lot when you’re quiet about it. Target had a small boycott scare once with its bathroom policy. Honestly, had it simply changed its policy on its website and stayed relatively quiet, I’m betting most people wouldn’t have cared much. But its latest pride month clothing line, conveniently right before the rush to buy summer clothes, was too big to ignore. The first day of the boycott was interesting, but when your stock plunges to the lowest price this year during a time its supposed to be high…that’s bad news.
It seems conservative customers are finally waking up to the notion they have real choices. It’s not hard to find clothing stores without rainbows in June, beer that actually tastes good, or razors that don’t lecture you while you shave. Perhaps the next big test will be in June. What if conservative voters choose to not eat or purchase items from places displaying a Pride flag? A month is a small amount of time to boycott, but its long enough for a company to see damaging results, and enough damage will make even a die-hard executive scale things back.
You don’t have to protest, post on Twitter or even tell your friends, because the simple act of no longer spending your money in these places tells the foolish executives is always going ring much louder than any letter or social media post.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. Speaking of making choices, why not buy the author’s book and donate to DaTechGuy?