At the risk of parody of the SCOTUS, at least for the time being it appears that money is speech. That is a frightening prospect when we are talking about free and fair elections and the orderly and ethical functioning of government. In commerce and the capital markets though, nothing speaks as loudly as the almighty dollar, and that is a good thing. Customers speak to companies through their spending patterns. Behaviors are shut down or reinforced based on how customer dollars flow. This has been a particularly active period, with customers manifesting their support for or displeasure with a wide range of companies. Curiously, it has been apparel companies most prominently in the headlines the last few months, from L.L. Bean to Under Armour, and now REI. It may be the extent to which customers are more engaged, or brand ambassadors are more passionate spokespeople, or simply how fickle and fleeting customer loyalty is in the world of fashion and apparel.
Continue reading “In or out? Action through (dis)engagement”