There are fundamentals of business management that anyone running a corporation that is successful should know, especially a corporation like Chick-Fil-A and JC Penney.  To be successful, competitive and relevant any wise CEO knows that there are five major necessities to keep it all going.  1) Cash flow.  2) New Ideas.  3) Marketing.  4) Strong production.  5)Branding.   All these things are also symbiotic, too.  It’s important that you have cash flow which you must spend for good marketing in order to keep the brand relevant and attractive.  Keeping employees happy with cash flow leads to strong production, no matter what that business is.  From a restaurant to a tee shirt factory, happy employees means good products which leads to cash flow and possibly new ideas.  Marketing a product in a popular way, such as stock for stores that sell products not built or produced by them like a furniture store, defines the brand or the brand of store.   New ideas keeps the brand going, along with knowledge of marketing audience, so it’s important to have a strategy that hits the most people who will be buying your brand.  It’s a cycle of development, keeping the products relevant to supply and demand.  If there isn’t strong production, there’s no supply to equal demand for products or store stock.

There are five standard things that support the company’s five major necessities.  1) Customer service.  2) Productive salespeople and literature.  3) Community activity and community outreach programs.  4) Public visage or reputation.  5) Location (Website, store location, product availability, et al.)   Without these supports, companies often falter.  It’s often annoying when you get someone on the line for customer service and you can’t understand them and/or they can’t understand you.  Communication of a corporation (especially banks) representative is very important, that means appearance, too.   If the salesperson you are talking to is unclean, unkempt, disheveled and has poor knowledge of the products and what those products do the communication to the potential client and customer becomes a problem.   If customer service is aloof, unwilling to tackle problems or resolve issues and fails to deliver an equitable solution in order to maintain its client and customer base, the company winds up like Packard Bell…a distant memory.   If the company catalog, specifications literature, and/or product description fails to communicate clearly, easily, effectively and thoroughly, the chance of anyone paying attention to that product and products is slim.   When a corporation or company affects the community, like donating viable food to food banks or sponsoring the local fair et cetera, it should create a non-political bond with clients and customers that does not put that company on the cusp of decisive issues within communities.   It should never take an action that causes it harm with half or more of the target and current clients and customers.  Though sometimes, throughout the decades, there have been organized smearing campaigns.  A perfect example of this is what happened to Proctor and Gamble in the 80’s.   Due to its crescent moon and stars, and probably one or more upset former employees or customers, the rumor in conservative circles defined the company as Satanic as the ridiculous notion of “backward masking” (For those younger readers, backward masking was the usage of subliminal messages recorded backwards on albums of heavy metal music and The Beatles that can only be heard by playing the music backward.  This involved moving your record player backwards while the stylus was on the vinyl record.  I know, positively primitive, right?) and other 80’s scares like Satanic rituals occurring at day care centers leading to the witch hunt of workers who enchanted children via pedophilia littered ritual.  (Started by the tripe printed in a book called “Michelle Remembers” which has been proven to be false.)   A quick misstep by companies currently walking the razor edge of political views or hot-topic issues (equality for marriage, abortion, and other topics that strike emotional or public opinion chords could easily result in ruination, the boycott of the company’s products, and outright failure to maintain reliable clients and customers who may have longevity with the company often referred to as reliable income (income that a company supposes will continue because they’ve used that particular product forever).  Not only that, but a company that has shareholders may experience a sharp drop in value of shares resulting in loss of shares held by people that company has struggled to maintain.  Loss in share value also results in poor revenue, but that’s a subject for Economics 102, a future post that muddies the impact of Management Style.

So, let’s look at the recent Chick-Fil-A support day, not funded or directed by the corporation’s representative, but Mike Huckabee.  Thousands of people came to eat there because the company president supports a opinion hotbed organization directly against marriage equality for all people, the American Family Association.   Donations by the company to this organization damaged their view in the eyes of many people that want marriage equality.  The political nature of the argument for equality placed them in a precarious position.   The emotional hotbed it creates angered many people who enjoyed the product, I never ate there because I found the food greasy and under-seasoned, for a very long time and are now faced with making a decision to patronize the place or boycott it.  (It should be noted also that the beating of a corrected gender woman at a McDonald’s resulting in the firing of the person who took the video and not those who failed to intervene and stop it created a boycott that dented company earnings until the apathetic customer base decided to return.)   The average customer does not enjoy making a decision not to patronize a business based solely on the actions of ONE person, often the short-lived boycott hurts for a while until others decide to return.   Customers don’t like painful decisions and most make reactionary judgments due primarily to the nature of the reason for doing it.

However, this is a capitalistic economy where thousands and thousands of corporations donate money to organizations that may be questionable to a large percentage of its client and customer base.  More often than not, acknowledgement of such donations, including those to political candidates are generally buried in the “boring” section of the financial report they are required to supply to shareholders, the average shareholder may never even get to that part.  With the need of conservative extremists to wield their power and influence in order to prove to they are a force to be reckoned with and the need for insertion of theocratic ideals into the mainstream business and political realm, they certainly do make an effective bloc.  However, those interested in supporting equality issues are usually apathetic and therefore unwilling to show up in an equal bloc as revolutionary as the conservative extremist.   The fight back is rather slow if at all affecting bottom lines and branding popularity.   (When the contention of hanging chads and voter problems plagued the election of Bush over Gore the riot in the streets of America that should have happened failed to occur strongly due to apathetic public.)  JC Penney, who chose Ellen Degeneres as the spokesperson and marketing face of their store, a contingent of angry conservative extremists called One Million Moms screamed in protest.  When popularity and propulsion for the boycott failed, they called off their attack.  This is primarily due to the fact a majority of the public loves Ellen and her daytime show where a dancing audience has a grand old time with personality filled guests and gifts.   The JC Penney Marketing department had a good flow of research that produced positive results for a new and successful campaign.   Another good example of well planned branding was on Michael Phelps, who was pictured with a bong and slammed by media for being a marijuana user experienced a short burst of sponsors dropping him but really didn’t dent his reputation for long.  In fact, his popularity swooned when he competed in swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics and won golds for the USA.  People still cheered for him, regardless of a media frenzy on a picture.  Subway decided he was a reliable brand to use for their marketing and because of great research, it worked as an effective marketing campaign.

The matter at hand is, if a company desires less questionable hotbed reactions to their bottom line, they should probably stay out of politics and smear campaigns.  Instead of donating to representatives in political offices, it would be a wiser campaign to sponsor local sports, fairs, and food banks.   They should pick their brand representatives in marketing campaigns that results in income and not the issue of the decade that keeps both sides in a state of static boycott.   It should be especially noted that the president is not always a representative of the entire chain, that that representative may have as many functioning neurons as Dan Quayle and the rest of the employees are LGBTQP (the “P” is for polysexual people) teenagers hoping for a quick McJob to pass the summer by.  Either way, if you feel strongly one way or another way on the Chick-Fil-A debacle, it’s up to you where you spend your money.  If the way the company spends its money offends you, by all means let your money do the talking.  Stick to it.    To us LGBTQP people, it is a serious matter that requires our action lest one day we are forced to drink from homosexual labeled fountains or are divided from contact with the straight public.  It could happen, like Bush gained the Presidency over a tainted election and no one rioted.