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When Brands Take Stands, Quick Mobile Health-Checks Are a Must

 

Controversy

 

One unusual aspect of the Trump presidency has been business leaders’ willingness to take firm stands on specific issues and events. The latest example is the administration’s decision to reverse the “Dream Act” policy that gave protected status to about 800,000 undocumented, foreign-born workers and students who’d come to the United States as children.

 

As AdAge reports, that action brought a fast response from tech sector CEOs, who haven’t hesitated to voice opposition to policies they see as threats to their pipeline of immigrant talent. The DACA announcement also drew a response from CPG titan Proctor & Gamble, which issued a statement urging Congress to  “find a legislative solution to provide employers certainty and allow the U.S. to continue to benefit from the contributions of the 800,000 Dreamers.”

 

When businesses take positions on hotly-debated issues such as immigration enforcement, they enter a complex arena. Any political stand or legal or regulatory controversy involving a brand has the potential to influence how consumers think and feel about it. In the case of DACA, some may see brands’ support of Dreamers as a praiseworthy statement of principles. But some may take offense at what they interpret as an inappropriate mixture of business with politics. And like anything that can impact consumer sentiment, brands need to know exactly what’s going on — and fast.

 

In a far more extreme instance than anything brands might face regarding a stand on DACA, consider the textbook case of how Johnson & Johnson responded quickly and effectively in 1982 when news broke that several Chicago-area consumers had been fatally poisoned when they took Tylenol capsules, murdered by an unknown predator who had stalked stores’ pain-remedy aisles, injecting cyanide into bottles of Tylenol. For a fascinating Fortune magazine account of how Johnson & Johnson’s rapid response — a response based on survey data — saved one of the nation’s most famous brands, click here. And note this passage in particular:

 

[Johnson & Johnson’s CEO] called in…J&J’s oldest advertising agency, to begin polling consumer attitudes. Initially he wanted to know how the public was reacting to the crisis, but he also knew the surveys would be indispensable in building a data base for what was obviously going to be, as he put it, “a very complicated communications problem.”

 

Fast data from telephone surveys put Johnson & Johnson on the right track to a successful response that saved the Tylenol brand — in the process providing the classic model for effective corporate crisis management. Thirty-five years later, there’s no faster way to get a quick, reliable read than to reach out to a representative panel that’s gathered around a mobile survey app. Smartphone apps, far more than desktop browsing, are the leading pipelines to news and information exchange for today’s consumers. Consequently, fielding an in-app mobile brand-health survey will get the best crucial speed-read on consumer sentiment.

 

Researchers with pressing deadlines can expect reliable real-time data, speeded along thanks to completion rates of 25% in an hour and 50% in a day. Fast survey data from an engaged, representative in-app mobile panel can make the difference between spinning wheels or getting a crucial running start on managing the impacts of unusual or unexpected events. With accurate intelligence about the what, the why, and the emotions sparked by an unusual event, brands will give themselves the best chance of making the right decisions on messaging and actions going forward. Whatever the circumstance, they won’t be flying blind.

 

To get a quick, real-time read on how an event is impacting a brand, researchers who use in-app mobile technology centered around an engaged, all-mobile panel that uses a state-of-the-art survey app can connect with a thousand or more relevant consumers in just a day. For more information on how to best execute quick-response, event-driven consumer research — or any research that has to get done in a hurry — just get in touch at solutions@mfour.com.

 

And for some humorous relief from the stresses of the moment or the politics of the day, click here for an entertaining video introduction to in-app mobile.