In January, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz promised to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years in response to President Donald Trump’s strict immigration policies. Conservatives and others then vowed to boycott Starbucks after the politically-charged refugee initiative.
In the time since, the company’s brand has reportedly taken a devastating hit.
YouGov BrandIndex, which tracks public perception of thousands of brands, found that consumer perception of Starbucks nosedived after the refugee stunt.
YouGov BrandIndex measures consumer perception using its “Buzz score” methodology. Starbucks’ Buzz score dropped by roughly two-thirds between January 29 and February 13.
YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli told The Daily Mail that consumer perception “dropped almost immediately” after the refugee announcement.
Currently, only 26 percent of consumers say they would consider buying from Starbucks, according to YouGov. That’s a slight improvement from the company’s low point when just 24 percent said they would consider purchasing Starbucks.
Those kinds of numbers are leading to people predicting that Starbucks sales could soon look like their UC-Berkeley location when far-left protesters were done with it.
Credit Suisse analyst Jason West found similar data, telling CNBC that Starbucks saw a “sudden drop in brand sentiment following announcement of the refugee hiring initiative on Jan. 29th, to flattish from a run-rate of ~+80 (on an index of -100 to +100).”
West added, “Net sentiment has since recovered, but has seen significant volatility in recent weeks.”
The numbers might be proof that Americans like their coffee without a side of politics.