What does your brand stand for? In a time of crisis, brands which step up and do the right thing are deemed respectful and perceived fair and ethical than those who do not.
Friday, after the new president of the United States of America Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban immigrants from 7 different countries for 90 days, these countries are “Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia” and suspend the admission of all refugees for 120 days.
Recommended ➤ Have you ever read about Apple’s core values?
Friday afternoon people who fit the ban description to be stopped and detained in U.S airports.
To name a few of these brands; Nike, Google, Apple, Facebook, Lyft, Kickstarter and Airbnb. Those are the brands that went big with their support and it aligned perfectly with their core-values
Brands that took a stand:
Many big brands are supporting refugees, some by sending e-mails supporting immigrant workers or released statements to support refugees, others donated money to The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
For example Brian Chesky CEO of Airbnb tweeted: “Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.”
And went the extra mile on that same day by adding: “Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing.”
Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Providing free housing to the refugees and suspended travelers all around the world. Join the Airbnb community, stand with refugees.
Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing
— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017
Airbnb stated that: Our mission is to create a world where people can feel like they belong anywhere they go and we proudly support refugees as they integrate into new communities around the world.
Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook, posted on his Facebook account: “We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation.”
Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square tweeted his concern over the ban: “Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe,” Reed wrote. “It is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity.”
The Executive Order's humanitarian and economic impact is real and upsetting. We benefit from what refugees and immigrants bring to the U.S. https://t.co/HdwVGzIECt
— jack (@jack) January 28, 2017
Nike CEO Mark Parker send a memo saying: “This is a policy we don’t support,” wrote Parker. “Nike stands together against bigotry and any form of discrimination. … Now, more than ever, let’s stand up for our values and remain open and inclusive as a brand and as a company. We are at our best when we recognize the value of our diverse community.”
Nike CEO Mark Parker sends rare political email to employees tonight, condemning POTUS travel ban. "This is a policy we don't support." pic.twitter.com/I9w48WA7e8
— Sara Germano (@germanotes) January 30, 2017
Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a letter to employees explaining what it’s doing to combat Trump’s order. “We have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company,” Cook wrote.
Adding, ““I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support.”
Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler tweeted as well his concern and said:” Kickstarter opposes the muslim ban. We stand for inclusion, diversity, and our common humanity.”
Ford is the first of the automakers to take a stand with this statement from Chairman Bill Ford, Jr. and President and CEO Mark Fields with a statement that: “Respect for all people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we are proud of the rich diversity of our company here at home and around the world. That is why we do not support this policy or any other that goes against our values as a company.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai condemned the order and urged affected employees to return to the U.S as soon as possible and said: “”We’re upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” Pichai wrote in a company-wide email. It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues.”
Moreover, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was spotted at a protest opposing the ban at the San Francisco airport on Saturday, saying to Forbes:“”I’m here because I’m a refugee.”
Microsoft President Brad Smith sent a company-wide email offering legal assistance to affected employees and CEO Satya Nadella, who was born in India, also said that he’d “seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world.”
Netflix chief Reed Hastings said the measure was affecting his employees and endangering the country saying: “Trump’s actions are hurting Netflix employees around the world, and are so un-American it pains us all. Worse, these actions will make America less safe (through hatred and loss of allies) rather than more safe,” Reed wrote. “It is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity.”
Brands support goes Viral:
One of the brands that supported the refugees and stood up against Donald Trump executive order is Conde Nast Traveler, a magazine dedicated to luxury travel.
They cleverly did what they do best by posting on their Instagram account on Friday a video with surreal photos of the countries whose citizens were banned from entering U.S with a caption that says: “”Travel opens hearts and minds. Beauty is everywhere. #TravelisLove.”
Travel opens hearts and minds. Beauty is everywhere. #TravelisLove Pictured here: •Dhurbo in Bari, Somalia (@wonderful_somalia) •Khaled Nabi temple on Gokcheh Dagh Hill, Iran (@everydayiran) •Florals in Libya (@everydaylibya) •Al-Zawraa Park in Baghdad, Iraq (@everydayiraq) •Burj al-Salam in Old Sanaa in Yemen (@abubakralshamahi) • A typical meal in Syria (@pablucozam) •The Pyramids of Meroë in Sudan (@gulden.sees)
Why #DeleteUber went viral?
Once the video was posted it instantly gone viral. Once the executive order was signed airports in the U.S have gone into complete chaos.
New York Taxi Workers Alliance had waged a strike “in solidarity with all of our peace-loving neighbors against this inhumane, cruel, and unconstitutional pure act of bigotry.” and Lyft decided to support refugees and protesters at JFK by going on a strike.
On the other hand, Uber decided to only lift surge prices for JFK rides and continued to offer service at the airport and break the strike.
Lyft later on Sunday had seized on the issue by deciding and sending to its customers that they will be donating $ 1M to the ACLU saying: “We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families and friends,” the email said. “We stand with you, and are donating $1 million over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other—and together, continue proving the power of community.”
Lyft donates $1mil to ACLU while Uber doubles down on its support for Trump. #DeleteUber
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 29, 2017
Shortly after the hashtag encouraging people to #DeleteUber went viral. Uber then apologized and stated that they hadn’t intended to break the Taxi strike but criticism continued, might be because of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s role on Donald Trump’s economic advisory group.
They tweeted later that they will be compensating drivers affected by the immigration-ban for the next 3 month.
Our CEO's reaction to immigration order: "We'll compensate drivers impacted by the ban pro bono for next 3 months." https://t.co/meCT1ahEjH
— Uber (@Uber) January 29, 2017
Tweeter users supported Lyft while dissing Uber and became no. 1 on trending topics.
— jack (@jack) January 30, 2017
Trump Supporters’ #BoycottStarbucks Attempt:
Starbucks showed their support as well by reassuring their affected employees and said that they will the coffee chain would look to hire 10,000 refugees in its stores worldwide, including some who have helped the U.S. military.
Howard Schultz. The chairman and CEO of Starbuck wrote in a letter to all Starbucks employees: “I write to you today with deep concern, a heavy heart and a resolute promise.” Schultz added: “We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question.”
— Missouri 4 TRUMP ! (@Johnatsrs1949) January 31, 2017
You would think that it is a great initiative from Starbucks but it was still criticized as it is previewed in different light, since there is an unlimited number of American veteran without jobs or sometimes without even homes, so the 10,000 job listings should be presented to those veterans. Later on #BoycottStarbucks started circulating.
Values stand at the very core of your brand:
Your core brand values are the compass that points to the true direction of your business success. Brands that can do something to change an unfortunate situation, support their people or their community, need to think fast and think big, as you can see.
Brands that were too late to respond to the Immigration-ban were viewed in a bad light along with brands that responded in a non-effective ways.
Helping your community in a time of need in every corporation’s core values as without this community there is no corporation to start with.