A couple weeks ago we wrote about a speech delivered by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy and some of his business principles. Mr. Cathy has been making national headlines lately, not for business principles of service and quality, but for his views on marriage.
Cathy asserted his view of marriage as traditional saying:
"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
Those remarks circulated around the media and are now grabbing nationwide headlines as politicians and public figures across the country weigh in. And while Cathy may find his company under attack from gay rights activists and their allies on account of his personal morals, he is also finding out the value of running a business grounded in faith-driven values.
Chick-fil-A prides itself on running a clean operation that values service and quality, and a hospitable and loving attitude to all who walk through their doors. And so when the restaurant came under fire from various pundits, including both the Chicago and Boston mayors, supporters of Chick-fil-A, led by former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, took to the web in a movement to support the fast-food chain.
Huckabee’s social media campaign is a great example of how responsive Faith Driven Consumers can be when they become motivated and incentivized. A Facebook group titled “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” which encourages people to show support for the restaurant by eating there on Wednesday, August 1, currently has more than 308,000 attendees and the number continues to grow. Many of the group’s posts have hundreds of comments, showing that people are engaged at a higher level than just participation.
While the group is an example of Huckabee’s sway on Facebook, it also shows that Faith Driven Consumers are not a passive group, but people who actively seek engagement with those businesses that respect biblical values – and will go out of their way to alter spending habits toward companies whose values align with their worldview. The Chick-fil-A company has never taken an official stance on the issue, nor does it need to. The values promoted and practiced by the company are enough to convince Faith Driven Consumers to eat their famous chicken products.
We already knew that the $2 trillion dollar Faith Driven Consumer market was targetable as a viable and economically powerful niche, but the reverberations from Dan Cathy’s counter-cultural position on biblical and traditional marriage demonstrate just how motivated and loyal they can be towards a family values-friendly company.