We can probably agree that the United States is experiencing an extreme level of political division and it seems to be getting worse by the day. Family dinners have been ruined and friendships have been ended. Even purchasing decisions are often influenced by political positions.
If you have a product with mass appeal, why would you want to offend half of your potential market with a politically nuanced message?
That was my thought when I saw the following subject line in my email:
I think the choices we make are important. In fact, the title of my first novel is Choices and the story begins with a driver’s choice to leave the scene after she hits a bicycle rider. The rest of the book is about the choices the characters make and the consequences of those choices.
But the phrase “right to choose” has become widely associated with abortion.
I’m not going to get into a discussion on abortion here. That’s not the point.
The above email came from a company whose hair accessory products I’ve purchased and like, so I opened it. The message was about having a choice to use other products that weren’t as good or these products which are much better.
If you’re paying attention to the news, you know that several states have recently passed extremely restrictive abortion laws and more states are considering similar legislation. One of the popular phrases pundits and politicians who oppose those laws use is “right to choose.”
And now a company selling a clever, innocuous product has linked itself in my mind with a highly charged social and political issue.
Maybe they meant to do that. I don’t know; I hope not, because it’s a poor business decision.
My advice: Avoid politically nuanced marketing messages unless you intend to take a public position on a potentially divisive issue and you’re willing to accept whatever consequences might come with that decision.
Of course, it’s your choice.
She the author of the novel Choices (A Joyful Cup Story) as well as the nonfiction books Words to Work By: 31 devotions for the workplace based on the Book of Proverbs and Finding Joy in the Morning: You can make it through the night. She is also the co-creator of several coloring books for adults.
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