May 13, 2013 14:30 ET

Controversial Public Positions by Brands Can Be Positive for Business According to WrightIMC Research

WrightIMC Releases White Paper: Should Your Brand Take A Stand?

PLANO, TX--(Marketwired - May 13, 2013) - Traditional reputation management practices dictate that corporations avoid public controversy if at all possible, but new research by WrightIMC shows that brands who have strong public points of view can actually build customer loyalty and generate additional sales for brands. Today, WrightIMC made available for download its research white paper: Should Your Brand Take A Stand?
When conducting the research, WrightIMC sought to answer three questions:

1. When brands take a controversial stand, how are their bottom lines affected?
2. Do consumers say that a brand's social or political stance affects their propensity to buy that brand's products or services?
3. What items should a brand consider before taking a stand on a controversial subject?

WrightIMC conducted a survey of more than 3,000 consumers with diverse regional, economic, and age differences. Research was also conducted on controversial positions or viewpoints from five major U.S. brands in the recent past and how it affected business: Chick-fil-A and same-sex marriage; Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood; Hobby Lobby and contraceptives in employee medical plans; J.C. Penney and Ellen DeGeneres as spokesperson; and Starbucks' support of same-sex marriage. The survey data and case study results form the basis of the white paper.

"Every company that contemplates taking a public and controversial position must first determine if it believes it will have the support of its employees, some or most customers, and other constituencies," said WrightIMC Founder and CEO Tony Wright. "That said, our research shows that consumers in general will support like-minded companies, and there are plenty of consumers to go around in most instances. Know your audience and a strong point of view can grow it, with some additional fringe benefits."

The white paper is available to download for free at Methodology and raw data is available upon request.

About WrightIMC
Based in Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb, WrightIMC ( is a full-service Internet marketing agency that specializes in search engine optimization, pay-per-click management, online and offline brand reputation management, social media marketing, viral video production and optimization and Website design and development. WrightIMC celebrated its fifth anniversary in March 2013.

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