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Fierce Retail has a story about new research from Sprout Social saying that “66% of consumers think its important for brands to take a stand on social and political issues, and 58% prefer this to happen on social media.”

There is a bit of a philosophical split on the issue: “As many as 78% of consumers who identify as liberal want brands to take a stand on social and political issues,” the story says, “while only 52% of conservatives feel the same way.”

Taking a stand, it should be noted, can mean different things: “Of those surveyed, 39% want the brand to announce a donation, 37% want the brand to encourage followers to take action, and 35% want the brand to outright state their official position.”
KC's View:
This will be sort of counter-intuitive for many businesses, mostly because avoiding politics - for fear of annoying half your shoppers - has always been an article of faith.

But things have changed. We live in a time when customers demand transparency - they want to know where products are from, how they are made, and who makes them … and they want to know about the affiliations and sympathies of the companies with which they do business.

In some ways, this can be a positive thing. If I buy Paul Newman-branded products, I can feel good about where some of the money is going. But there can be a broader social problem here, because tribalism can start to infect every decision we make. This isn’t always a bad thing, but there are big issues and small issues, and I think it is important to be able to tell the difference between a company that supports, say, white supremacists, and one in which leadership just votes one way or the other.