In 2023, Bud Light, one of the most popular beer brands in the United States, faced one of the biggest boycotts in the country’s history. The boycott was sparked by a minor social media partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender woman.
Mulvaney is a social media influencer who has been documenting her gender transition online. She has become a popular figure in the LGBTQ+ community, and her videos have been viewed millions of times.
In March 2023, Bud Light partnered with Mulvaney on a social media campaign to promote its new seltzer product. The campaign was met with immediate backlash from right-wing anti-trans groups.
Bud Light quickly distanced itself from Mulvaney, ending their partnership and deleting all of the campaign content. However, the damage had already been done. The boycott gained momentum, and soon many people were pledging to never drink Bud Light again.
In a new article published by The Guardian, former Bud Light employees have spoken out about what happened behind the scenes during the boycott. The employees, who wished to remain anonymous, spoke of leadership incompetence and said that executives were operating from a place of fear.
“It was panic and rash decision-making,” one employee said. “They didn’t know what to do, so they just threw Dylan under the bus.”
Another employee said that the boycott was a “wake-up call” for Bud Light. “It showed that the company is out of touch with its customers,” the employee said. “They need to do a better job of understanding the values of their target audience.”
The Bud Light boycott is a reminder that brands need to be careful about the messages they send. In today’s society, people are more likely than ever to boycott brands that they don’t agree with. Brands need to be mindful of the values of their customers and make sure that their messaging is consistent with those values.
How the Bud Light boycott can teach us about brand messaging
The Bud Light boycott is a valuable case study for businesses of all sizes. It shows the importance of being mindful of the values of your customers and making sure that your messaging is consistent with those values.
Here are a few key takeaways from the Bud Light boycott:
- Don’t be afraid to take a stand. Customers are more likely to support brands that stand up for what they believe in. However, it’s important to make sure that your values are authentic and that you’re not just taking a stand to be trendy.
- Be mindful of your target audience. It’s important to understand the values of your target audience and make sure that your messaging is consistent with those values. If you’re not sure what your target audience values, you can do some market research to find out.
- Be prepared to respond to criticism. When you take a stand, there will always be people who disagree with you. It’s important to be prepared to respond to criticism in a respectful and constructive way.
By following these tips, businesses can avoid making the same mistakes that Bud Light did. By being mindful of their brand messaging and values, businesses can build stronger relationships with their customers and avoid boycotts.