As we all process the results of the election, businesses and customers move forward. One of the first brands to voice its support of the Trump presidency is American-made footwear brand New Balance.
New Balance makes over 4 million shoes in the US annually and expressed its approval of the election’s outcome mostly due to its opposition of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trump’s promise to kill it. New Balance stated that a Trump presidency is a “move in the right direction.”
We don’t always connect footwear with politics, but we wonder if New Balance’s stance will lead to loss of current customers.
We’ve been measuring favorability of New Balance for years, and have collected over 50,000 responses in regards to brand favorability.
Will a statement in support of Donald Trump lose fans, or turn neutral sentiment into negative? Let’s cross reference favorability of the brand with the favorability of Donald Trump.
About a third of who people like New Balance like Donald Trump. 44% of New Balance fans have a negative view of Trump, and 68% of all the NB fans don’t have a positive view of him.
While New Balance doesn’t support TPP, actively supporting Donald Trump could lead to a backlash from fans. The endorsement could also turn neutral parties into actively unfavorable advocates.
We’ll have to keep an eye on New Balance’s favorability over time. We don’t doubt other companies will express sentiment regarding the election, but it will be interesting to see if the shoe maker’s rapid endorsement of Trump will spur sentiment either way.
If New Balance fans take issue with the brand’s support of Trump, where might they go?
Let’s take a look at a large footwear importer that was for TPP: Nike. President Obama worked with and visited the global brand in regards to the trade deal. Will New Balance fans leave their brand for a left-leaning shoe?
63% of New Balance fans are also Nike fans, and only 11% of New Balance fans have an unfavorable view of Nike.
Nike, an already politically involved brand, could potentially snag New Balance fans in the post-election fallout. Coming out strongly against Trump in reaction to New Balance’s statement could bolster sales for Nike.