Chick-fil-A’s Branding No-No

The day has come when a person can no longer think of a piece of fried chicken in the same way ever again. Looking at you, Chick-fil-A. In a perfect world where we all took away lessons from political uproar, every CEO would take away a thing or two from this chicken debacle.

The debate aside, I think Dan Cathy’s choice to bring his religious and political views so heavily into his business was a bad business move.

Companies like burger joint In-N-Out and young adult fashion store Forever 21 have slight religious affiliation in that you can find small printings of bible verses on the bottom of fry cartons and shopping bags. Though, neither of their CEOs are making very public statements concerning their individual beliefs.

It’s one thing to lightly say, “this is what we like to go by, but thanks for supporting us for our products.” It’s another to directly shout beliefs at the public, thereby intermingling politics, religion, and business.

There goes any and all heavy gay-rights-supporting customers as well as any traditional-family-values-supporting customers who don’t want to be on the receiving end protest, thereby cutting his customer count severely. Because of Cathy’s actions, Chick-fil-A will no longer be a place to kick back and have some fried chicken, but will instead be viewed as a political statement.

Seems to me like Cathy needs to read some STW posts to pick up tips on brand image.

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5 thoughts on “Chick-fil-A’s Branding No-No

  1. So where does a CEO draw the line? They are the ones that set the tone and culture for the company. Chik fil A has been around since 1946 – and up until a few years ago, the views expressed by the CEO were not considered controversial. And yet, it’s those views that have helped the company succeed and grow and be a large part of individual business owner success. And the culture is incredibly warm, welcoming, respectful and dignified. Take away and the CEO’s views (and the family’s for that matter) and you will slowly destroy the culture of the company.

  2. I had never heard of Chick-fil-A before this controversary – we don’t have them where I live. However, next time I am traveling and see one, I will make sure to stop in. I admire the courage and values of their leadership – and I hear the chicken sandwiches are great too!

  3. Chick-fil-A’s actions are part of their brand. They have a target market and are reaching them perfectly. You don’t need to please everyone, just your target. If you try to please everyone, you’ll be drowned out like the rest of the world that is fine with doing what everyone else is doing. Brands could learn a lot from what He did. Gay-rights activists have the same rights and are very vocal about their stance.
    Be willing to stand out from the crowd and you’ll find that your most loyal supporters become life-long passionate followers!

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