Kelloggs probably won’t learn the lesson sitting right in front of them any more than Target did: playing politics and alienating large groups of consumers isn’t wise. You’d think that when presented with a blueprint of how to wreck sales growth that’s been proven effective, in the worst sense, by several other companies, executives wouldn’t choose to follow that blueprint for their company, but no, liberal virtue signaling trumps good business sense.
Although the company was already planning to downsize, new reports show the damage to Kellogg’s brand is much worse that executives are letting on. In addition to closing 39 distribution centers, the company has shifted from letting go of “several thousand employees” to as many as 11,000 and counting. Reporters for the Philadelphia Inquirer did a little digging and think the job loss is a lot more expansive than the cereal giant wants to admit. “He figures those losing their jobs include at least 1,500 sales reps, plus several support workers and merchandisers for each rep, plus Teamsters truck drivers, loaders, and warehouse support personnel.”
More than a half-million shoppers boycotted the company after its spokesman, Kris Charles, said the conservative Breitbart and its 45 million readers “aren’t aligned with” the cereal giant’s “values as a company.” From there, the #DumpKelloggs movement was born. You’d think more CEOs would connect the dots after the spectacular collapse of Target’s stock when they threw open bathrooms to both genders — or the fierce blowback to radical executives at GrubHub, Pepsi, ESPN, and Penzey’s Spices. It shouldn’t be too difficult for America’s top retailers to realize that declaring war on the values of half of America is not a secret recipe for success. On the contrary, it’s been a revenue-killing disaster for the companies who’ve joined the public rant against the White House and conservatives in general.
The message is simple: stay out of the culture wars or you’ll pay for it. These CEOs should stick to selling products — not politics. If CEOs want to use their profits to push the liberal agenda voters rejected, then they shouldn’t be surprised when consumers reject their products and send their dollars elsewhere.