Americans often are not shy about letting their wallets speak when a brand does something that displeases them, whether it be the business acting irresponsibly, allowing a data breach or failing to represent their community or ethnicity. New data from YouGov shows that half of US adults have ceased buying goods or services in protest of a business.
The likelihood that a consumer will be willing to boycott a brand increases with income level. While a little more than two-fifths (43%) of consumers with an income of less than $40K say they have boycotted a business, that figure rises to 56% among those with an income of $40K-$80K and 67% of those making more than $80K. Earlier YouGov research also revealed that affluent consumers place a brand’s ethics high on the priority list for those they use and recommend.
Older Americans are also more likely than average to boycott a brand or business. The survey found that a similar percentage of consumers age 45-54-years-old (56%) and those 55 and older (57%) have boycotted a brand. YouGov speculates that this may be due to consumers in these age groups living through more corporate scandals.
Whether consumers believe that boycotting a brand is effective can often be dependent on a consumer’s political outlook. While it’s true that just less than two-thirds (63%) of US adults feel that boycotting is effective in convincing a brand to change its policies or actions, Republicans are less likely than average (50%) to believe boycotting is effective. However, 8 in 10 (79%) Democrats and 6 in 10 (58%) Independents perceive boycotting a brand as effective in provoking change.
Furthermore, YouGov notes that Americans are more likely to believe that people involved in public actions (i.e.protests, boycotts and petitions) have influence over big companies when it comes to encouraging them to act ethically than they are to feel that the media or social media can have such an effect.
About the Data: Findings are based on an online survey of 19,875 US adults conducted between July 10-13, 2020.