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Brands That Marginalize Shouldn’t Be Able to Capitalize

When your chicken sandwich is from Chick-Fil-A you really shouldn’t be enjoying it. But let’s be serious…you already know that. You have heard for years that the brand with the cute cow mascot hates the LGBTQ community. You know they are discriminatory in their hiring practices and deliberate when they fire people. You know that because you haven’t been living under a rock. And now if you have paid any attention to your newsfeeds, you are also aware that their 2017 tax returns were just released and that they have made LARGE donations to groups that have very clear hatred toward the LGBTQ community. But you are still gonna get your chicken there tomorrow aren’t ya? And Friday when your boss has them cater your meeting, you are gonna sit down at the table and laugh with your colleagues as you eat your chicken chunks and chug your iced tea from a cup with the Chick-Fil-A logo on it. Aren’t you?

Why is Chick-Fil-A able to survive their assault on the LGBTQ community? Newsflash: It isn’t because their chicken is just soooooo good. Nope. They continue to thrive because they are really good at doing what many Americans love…hiding their hatred behind a veil of religion. They don’t open their restaurants on Sundays, so they must be a company with morals right? Wrong.

Last year while attending an international branding conference, I ventured into a session which I thought was going to be led by a marketing guru from Arby’s. And I am a major sucker for a roast beef sandwich. Don’t even get me started on their delicious Horsey Sauce. Unfortunately, I have quite a knack for not paying close attention to the agenda at these events…so I found myself in the wrong session. The totally WRONG session. The VP of Marketing for Chick-Fil-A spent 45 minutes informing the audience of how much his company truly loves all people. He clamored on about the founder of the company and how the true core values behind their ultimate success are love and righteousness. It was a tough pill for me to swallow. I sat quietly but my thoughts were loud.

I haven’t been to Chick-Fil-A in years and I have no plans to return. I have tried every alternative brand there is…my favorite being from an unlikely source…the Southern Chicken Bites from Sam’s Club (I refer to them as Gay-Fil-A). In the end though, none of it is important. Chick-Fil-A is getting away with murder and most of America is letting them. So I figure it is time for the LGBTQ community to take a page from the African American playbook on this one. The black community has been encouraging members to #BuyBlack and it has caused some ripples…and ripples turn into waves. The LGBTQ community should mobilize as well. This is hard because by nature we are a very fragmented group…but something needs to be done. Brands that marginalize should not be able to capitalize.

#GaysBanChickFilA #GayFilA Let’s do something about it and stop griping about it.

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