Starbucks’ brand perception has plummeted since it announced plan to hire refugees

Yahoo News

Starbucks’ brand has taken a beating since the company announced plans to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide in the next five years in response to Donald Trump’s executive order intended to prevent refugees from entering the US.

The coffee giant’s consumer perception levels have fallen by two-thirds since late January, according to YouGov BrandIndex.  

The perception tracker measures if respondents have “heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative.” In Starbucks’ case, perception is still overall positive, but significantly lower than it was prior to CEO Howard Schultz published a public letter outlining the company’s plans to give refugees jobs.

“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question,” CEO Howard Schultz wrote in a letter to Starbucks employees about the plan.

The graphic below shows YouGov’s brand perception since October of last year. The red arrow points to when Starbucks announced its plan to hire 10,000 refugees.

starbucks perception

YouGov says that there’s reason to believe backlash will impact the chain’s bottom line. Two days before Starbucks’ announcement, 30% of consumers said they’d consider buying from Starbucks the next time they were craving coffee, the highest proportion in nearly a year. Now, the percentage is down to 24%, according to YouGov.

While many customers were immediately supportive of Starbucks’ actions to support refugees, others threatened to boycott.

“Upon hearing about your decision to hire 10000 refugees instead of Americans I will no longer spend any money at Starbucks,” one such Facebook user wrote on Starbucks’ page in late January.

Some of this resentment seemed to be rooted in a belief that Starbucks was hiring refugees instead of veterans. Starbucks, however, does have a program in place to support veterans and their families, hiring 8,000 veterans and military spouses since 2014 — an initiative the chain has attempted to highlight in recent days and weeks online and on social media.

3 thoughts on “Starbucks’ brand perception has plummeted since it announced plan to hire refugees

  1. Starbucks. The name alone sucks. “Come have some special blend of “Donkey Dung”, filtered through a goat’s stomach, beans specially and delicately picked straight from the horse-apples themselves, brewed to perfection in water that would make you puke on it’s own, yerp, the best thing since sliced bread!

    The worst thing about a Starbucks is the people that give them business. Arseholes and snobs all sipping piss with their “pinky” finger extended in snoblike fashion, fashionably ignoring each other in Slobworld.

    Don’t it make you want to brew up a room clearing fart, you know, one that curls your nose hairs and makes the paint peel from the walls? I’d love to walk into a Starbucks and drop a “silent, but deadly” smack in the middle of the place, let it waft and linger, and watch as the make up falls off their faces with tears flowing! Not just a “popcorn” fart, but one that would burn your arse and breach the chemical weapon agreement.

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