In this day and age, when a company strays away from its core values or fails to meet basic consumer expectations, they are immediately put under the spotlight. Facilitated by the rapid rise of social media, a company’s abrupt decisions and questionable actions can be scrutinized at the touch of a button.

According to Edelman, 17% of American consumers would alter their buying behavior depending on a brands position concerning certain issues.

When an issue resonates with several consumer groups, it could build enough momentum to create a boycott; whereby consumers abandon using or buying a company’s products/services.

Interested in consumer mindsets, analysed findings from YouGov, who interviewed more than 2,000 U.S. adults to better understand the reasoning behind the phenomena of brand boycotting. found the number one reason American consumers boycott a brand was due to its affiliation or endorsement of a politician/party/movement (51%) that they did not support or agree with. A prominent example of this was when Dick Yuengling, the fifth- generation owner of America’s oldest brewing company under the same surname, voiced his support for then presidential candidate Donald Trump – this led to mass consumer condemnation of the brand on social media.

Thereafter, a product(s) with negative consequences on consumer health as well as racism within a company’s culture/practices were the second joint most cited reasons as to why consumers boycotted a brand at 44% each.

Further on, ‘harm to the environment’ influenced 42% of consumers decision to boycott a brand. Closely followed by faulty product/products recall, cover-ups and corruption – all at 41%.

Unfair practices related to market dominance was the lowest-ranking factor which led to consumers boycotting a brand at just 24%. Despite it being well-documented that tons of companies have been a culprit to dubious financial practices and suffered from critical functions being compromised as a direct result of inadequate cybersecurity measures – only 25% of consumers surprisingly boycotted a brand either because of data breaches or tax avoidance/evasion.