The European refugee crisis sparked controversial disputes over the implications of this disruptive event. Countries under the European Union have received a considerable number of undocumented persons. They are mainly looking for asylum after warfare took over their mother countries. However, other parties are also looking for economic stability in first world countries. The travel ban imposed by the Trump administration intensified this sensitive topic. In alignment with this direction, some Americans criticized Starbucks’ decision of hiring refugees.
Starbucks Announcement of Hiring Refugees Led to Social Tensions
Stabucks CEO, Howard Schultz, took upon himself the task of taking in around 10,000 refugees as employees in his large chain of stores around Europe. This decision faced ardent criticism on behalf of Americans that are pro-Trump travel ban. This party promotes the idea of employing veterans and American citizens instead of refugees. They started using the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks as a way to keep track of the posts of the supporters.
Thus, social tensions intensified as of recently. Nonetheless, Howard Schultz declined any negative impact of this negative wave on business. To highlight this status quo, the CEO made a letter public on March 10. The President of Kantar Millward Brown sent this letter to Matt Ryan, Chief Strategy Officer. This is a multinational market research company. The letter disclosed recent findings based on reports regarding the popularity of the coffee company brand.
Starbucks Managed to Keep its Flawless Reputation
“The following note came from the president of Kantar Millward Brown – our long-term partner in providing brand and consumer equity research – clarifying current Starbucks brand perception. Reports suggesting anything other than this should be viewed skeptically and do not reflect the customer satisfaction and perception trends we are seeing so far in 2017,” explained Ryan.
This statement was based on years of measurements of Starbucks. Millward Brown has engaged in monitoring the Brand Perception and Consumer Sentiment as far as Starbucks is concerned since 2013. The company’s recent reports show that the hiring refugees statement did not affect the image perception of the company in any major way. Customers are still firmly determined to visit their favorite coffee shop as before.
Starbucks is not the only firm that received strong criticism as soon as it revealed its political position. Many other businesses have to deal with the aftermath of their kind of disclosure. Customers penalized brands that declared themselves either pro or against the refugee crisis.
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