Overpriced coffee vendor Starbucks is hurting its brand with its moral signalling, according to the assessment of Swiss financial services company Credit Suisse.
After the coffee giant announced plans to hire 10,000 Muslim refugees in January, confidence in the quality and even the safety of the company's coffee plummeted. The announcement was made in response to President Trump's travel ban on several Muslim countries connected with terrorism.
Equity analyst Jason West explained the effect to CNBC:
"Our work shows a sudden drop in brand sentiment following announcement of the refugee hiring initiative on Jan. 29th, to flattish from a run-rate of ~+80 (on an index of -100 to +100)."
As most of Starbuck's core clientele are single urbanites without families who tend to vote Democrat, the company calculated that the anti-Trump move would bolster sales, but miscalculated, as the thought of being served possibly cyanide-laced ISIS-blend coffee scared away customers.
The announcement also led to a counter movement #BoycottStarbucks that saw the move as a snub to US workers, especially veterans (who are often used in right-wing moral signalling).