I am not here to add to the noise about Chick-Fil-A. It’s been discussed ad nauseum by smart (and not so smart) folks for a week+ now.
But I do have a question:
We all like to talk about humanizing brands, about the need for genuine engagement, etc. But should those of us who need to make a living by selling products or services consider keeping our opinions to ourselves in public forums?
I heard Howard Stern rant about Chick-Fil-A’s CEO (and I am paraphrasing, but not much): “Why is this man saying anything that doesn’t sell more chicken? Why would he bother pissing off half the country that supports gay marriage? He can be as religious as he wants in private; he can do whatever he pleases with his take-home pay, including donate to far-right groups … but why is this man talking about anything other than ‘delicious chicken sandwiches’ in public?”
I struggle with this, as well. Those of you who monitor my Facebook posts and “likes” would quickly see that I am an avowed progressive Democrat and Obama supporter. On more than one occasion, my wise bride (among others) wondered if this is a smart move. She echoes Stern’s admonition, to just shut the hell up in public.
It would mean I am less engaged. It would mean you’d know less about me. It would mean I was less candid. But it would also present a neutral (some might say neutered) political stance that could not hurt my business. After all, if nothing else I have a fiduciary responsibility to my staff and creditors to do my level best to grow the business.
So I see the wisdom of shutting up. Yet I find it hard to muzzle myself.
What would you recommend, either to me, or to Chick-Fil-A, or any other brand?
Posted on: August 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm By Todd Defren