Following on from the social media backlash over everything retail vs politics, including Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s stance, to Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump’s line, CEOs are now under fire for their political positions. Hasn’t it always been agreed that, unless your career is in politics, we keep political opinions away from the workplace? Today’s political landscape is evolving and social media is ripe with activism from consumers. Experts are saying that not dissimilar to natural disaster and other crisis management plans, retailers need full-time political strategy teams on hand to prepare CEOs with a clear point of view as they could be pulled into the fray.
“Consumer want brands that stand for something, and something that they believe in. This isn’t about expressing personal opinion but company opinion; leaders, when they pick up the CEO hat also take on the obligation to express that which aligns with their brand. CEOs should already be natural leaders and be able to step up and speak out when needed. It’s what they’ll say that will be crucial and difficult. Brands need to be smart, or they’ll face the consequences – publically.” Lynette Deutsch, CEO The Endaba Group