Keeping Things In Perspective – Whole Foods Boycott

Here’s the high level story:

  1. The CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, wrote an OP Ed column in the NY Times that essentially trashed the concept of the Obama Healthcare Plan. [in full disclosure, I think Mackey is spot on].
  2. The primarily left leaning Whole Foods consumer demographic took issue with his comments.  Keep in mind his comments were his alone and not Whole Foods driven or supported.
  3. As you’d imagine people called for a boycott. How many you ask…drum roll please…30,000 people at present date on Facebook.  Yes, 30,000.

PR 2.0 (ugh I hate that term) pros like are calling for everything from a public apology from Whole Foods to the resignation of Mackey (one of the founders of Whole Foods).  I’m taking the other approach and a page from politics 101.  When you openly acknowledge someone’s comments, opinions, or viewpoints you give that person and their point of view credibility.

When you consider that Whole Foods’ sales haven’t suffered, the stock price has stayed flat, new consumers are becoming Whole Foods customers (I’m guessing they’re stealing right wingers), and the boycott number is a miniscule 30,000 people all on Facebook, I wouldn’t acknowledge, respond, or give credibility to these people.  I don’t see the value or the return on investment.  There’s more potential to do more harm than there is good.

Again, look at the profits since the boycott – it’s on a huge upward trend:

Every person that has a blog or a twitter profile thinks their voice is important.  I’ve got to tell you, it’s not.  Sorry, but it’s the truth.  There’s a hierarchy for whose voice matters and I’d venture to bet that the majority of the 30,000 people are on the bottom of the list.  Sometimes you’ve got to keep things in perspective.

  • http://tdhurst.com tdhurst

    30,000 Facebook fans and 575 twitter followers, if they're not the right people, mean absolutely nothing. Not everyone's opinion counts, although it's easier than ever to broadcast it now.

  • http://epicliving.blogs.com/ Eric Pennington

    Your insights on Whole Foods and the current “pitch fork” movement are spot on.

    As it relates to whose voice matters, If the context is on a national or international scale, my calling for a CEO's resignation would be insignificant. However, my voice with my tribe/1,000 true fans does carry significant weight.

    Just the same, thanks again for the insights.

  • http://epicliving.blogs.com/ Eric Pennington

    Your insights on Whole Foods and the current “pitch fork” movement are spot on.

    As it relates to whose voice matters, If the context is on a national or international scale, my calling for a CEO's resignation would be insignificant. However, my voice with my tribe/1,000 true fans does carry significant weight.

    Just the same, thanks again for the insights.

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Digital dad to Cora and John. Love ironing, bourbon and BBQ; no necessarily in that order. Living life, like I stole it. I'm always up for a

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