As more and more companies advance and express their political ideology the U.S. population responds with growing “Tribal Consumerism”.
The latest company to take a ‘next level’ approach toward pushing their politics upon their customer base is Starbucks coffee who has stated their opposition toward any nationalist immigration policy. Starbucks has stated they will hire 10,000 foreign refugees in lieu of hiring American workers to operate their businesses.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, an open and visible supporter of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has affirmed his approach as a rebuke to President Trump and the outlined patriotic “Buy American – Hire American” proposals within the larger America First economic platform. This decision by Starbucks has created a backlash:
Customer in long line at Caribou Coffee while Starbucks sits empty across the street pic.twitter.com/Lc1vGX89SU
— BlessMyLiberty 🇺🇸 (@blessmyliberty) February 3, 2017
Tribal Consumerism isn’t new. In reality it has been a part of the larger influence of politics for a few decades. However, the intensity of the divide amid the American electorate is now factored as part of many companies strategic business plans.
In 2012 the restaurant chain Chick-fil-a saw a massive spike in business after the social justice community began a boycott and the American consumer dined in their defense.
In 2015 Macy’s decided to oppose Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and removed his clothing line from the stores. Macy’s, a retailer already in trouble, suffered great financial losses and their stock value tanked.
This year Nordstroms and more recently Neiman Marcus have dropped Ivanka Trump’s products in an effort to appease the activists within the social justice community who ideologically oppose the administration of her father, now President of the United States.
It would appear the decision by corporations to express their political positions shows no signs of diminishing. In many ways this is a good and inevitable part of the overall free market system.
At it’s very core, tribal consumerism is the best representative example of the free market at work. Companies have made business decisions for decades based on the best possible financial outcomes of their endeavors.
Regional products and regional businesses are tailored to the specific consumer trends, tastes and perspectives of their area. Adding the political outlook to the overall brand image of the company is simply another layer of open consideration for the public, and can drive great benefits.
When any entity has a large monopoly on a specific business model, and that enterprise then openly adds a political dynamic to their outlook, it opens the space for innovation and for competition which will satisfy the alternative side of the political equation.
Some voices do not like the oppositional nature of politics in business, however there is a fundamental benefit. Tribal Consumerism cuts through political correctness and enhances a free market with various options for the discriminating purchaser.
A person’s political belief system, is a natural outcome of their values. Additionally, Political beliefs are not part of the civil rights act or any anti-discrimination principles.
It is entirely lawful not to hire Democrats/Liberals etc., and it is entirely lawful for private enterprise to ask for the political affiliation of any individual upon any economic engagement. Ultimately this is the reason the SJW crowd within the DOJ have pushed the principles behind disparate impact to gain some measure of protection for their minority world-views and outlooks.
For obvious reasons, systems of government cannot ask for political affiliation, that aspect is codified within law to protect the individual from discriminatory action of the state. However, within the free-market your political outlook is unprotected – let’s hope it stays that way….
Spend, shop and aggregate with your tribe, it is entirely natural.