Corporations hit the news frequently with the recent popularity of social media. Any step taken by large corporations is closely watched by consumers and it explodes on twitter and Facebook. Recently, Starbucks had announced that it will hire 10,000 refugees in the near future and it received bashing on social media for this comment. Especially, as this announcement was made immediately after President Donald Trump issued an immigrant ban for natives of seven predominantly Muslim countries. Numerous consumers called for a boycott of the Starbucks brand on social media. Naturally, the marketplace is buzzing as the investors fear that the popularity of the Starbucks brand will diminish at least in the short term.
Starbucks has cleared the air stating that the investors need not worry. Brian James, President of Kantar Millward Brown, a multinational market research firm sent a letter to Matt Ryan, Chief strategy officer for Starbucks. In the letter, the market findings were clearly mentioned that the current scenario didn’t affect the business performance of Starbucks. The research reports and speculative data show that the decline in performance is not substantiated.
The marketplace went haywire when YouGov Brand Index survey reported that Starbucks business will decline due to consumer backlash after the announcement to hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years. Starbucks clarified that it wants to provide facts for its investors and that Kantar Millward Brown has refuted the claims of YouGov Brand Index survey. The customer sentiment remains the same and it is not affected as claimed by the previous survey report.
Just after the announcement in February 2017, there is no change in customer consideration or future visitation intent according to the report from Kantar Millward Brown. The research firm also assured that the brand perception or other performance metrics have not changed either. This is good news for the investors who were worried about the fate of the company. The results of the final quarter of 2016 were announced by Starbucks and it showed continuous growth in the USA market. Even though these results were before the boycott call, it still shows that the brand value is on the rise. The next quarterly results will be released in April.
It is not new for the consumer brands to get in trouble due to their announcements. The social media driven boycotts were experienced by Kellogg, New Balance, and Armour. Starbucks was criticized on social media as the consumers found that the holiday cups weren’t festive enough. The corporate companies are learning to take the social media influence as it comes and it helps with the product innovation.
Starbucks is ready to launch its first ever spring themed cups. These cups will be available for all types of hot beverages all over the USA from March 16th. The participating stores will run these promotions for a limited time. The seasonal cups are offered by Starbucks for more than twenty years. Autumn and summer cups are already popular among consumers and the Spring cups feature umbrella, sun, rabbit and other cartoon designs.