In the aftermath of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the anti-gun left declared an all-out war against the Second Amendment and its proponents, namely the National Rifle Association.
Foremost in their assault on the jealously guarded constitutional right — aside from denigrating and dehumanizing gun owners — was an emotion-based pressure campaign on businesses that have partnered with the NRA to provide discounts for the organization’s membership.
That targeted campaign succeeded in compelling a handful of businesses to sever ties with the NRA and withdraw discounts offered to members.
But according to Front Page Mag, that move to appease the vociferous anti-gun left may very well have backfired on those businesses by angering a vast swath of the population. In their rush to avoid a threatened boycott by anti-gunners and obtain goodwill and potential customers from the political left, those businesses did significant damage to their brand’s favorability ratings and in all likelihood lost more customers than they gained.
Chief among businesses that shot themselves in the foot by casting aside law-abiding gun owners who had nothing to do with the school shooting, is the car rental firms of Enterprise Holdings Inc., parent company of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Alamo Rent-a-Car and National Car Rentals.
According to a survey conducted by Morning Consult between Feb. 23-25, the three car rental firms saw their favorability rating either drop or remain unchanged while their unfavorability ratings more than doubled.
Flagship firm Enterprise Rent-a-Car saw their favorability rating fall from 61 to 50 percent, while their unfavorability surged from 12 to 25 percent.
Alamo and National didn’t see the same severe fall in favorability ratings, but their unfavorability ratings spiked, going from 10 to 24 percent and 11 to 25 percent, respectively.
Enterprise Holdings did not respond to a request for comment from Morning Consult on the substantial change in how the company is viewed by the general public. What could they possibly have to say after they publicly disrespected millions of potential and long-standing customers who happen to also own firearms and support the Second Amendment?
To be sure, the three car rental firms under Enterprise Holdings all saw their net favorability among Democrat survey respondents increase — five points for Enterprise Rent-a-Car and 24 points for both Alamo and National — but those gains were more than overshadowed by the loss among Republicans.
Enterprise Rent-a-Car saw their net favorability among Republicans precipitously drop from +50 to -9, while Alamo slid from +34 to -18 and National went from +35 to -18 points.
Those are incredibly significant swings among roughly half of the nation’s population, and will no doubt effect the bottom line of those businesses.
“Brands are being held to a higher standard than they have been in the past,” stated Mimi Chakravorti, executive director of strategy at brand-consulting firm Landor of WPP PLC. “People are making decisions on the brands that they choose to affiliate with based on how brands behave.”
Yes, people on both sides of the issue are making decisions based on how these businesses have decided to operate. Catering to a small but vocal minority at the expense of millions of potential and loyal customers is an unsustainable practice, and one that is likely to get the notice of shareholders who will likely not be pleased with the short-sighted marketing move that killed their brand’s reputation.
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