Apple is a brand in its own right.
The largest company in the world in terms of market value embraces discretion. This is its strength. But the Cupertino, Calif.-based giant also knows how to be vocal and how to pick the right time to make a statement. The goal is to ensure that the message will be well received.
In recent years, the brand, which is worth $2.8 trillion in market capitalization, has taken a position on various social issues, breaking with the neutrality required of multinationals.
Last year, Apple was one of the companies which announced its intention to remedy the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to revoke the federal right to abortion. The company, co-founded by Steve Jobs, agreed to cover the costs incurred by employees who would have to travel to another state for an abortion.
Apple (AAPL) – Get Free Report and its CEO Tim Cook have once again chosen their moment to take a stand on a sensitive subject, LGBTQ+ issues, that has landed Disney in an intense war with a presidential hopeful and has made Bud Light the target of calls for a boycott among conservatives.
Apple Makes Bold Statement
For the month of June, dedicated to Gay Pride, Apple is launching a special watch band to reaffirm its support for the LGBTQ+ community. Cook did not hesitate to share the news himself on his Twitter account.
“We’re excited to make available an all-new Pride Edition Apple Watch band, which helps incredible organizations around the world that support the LGBTQ+ community,” Cook posted on Twitter on May 23.
Apple seems to send a clear message: the group remains faithful to its values, even if these risk plunging it into the new culture war between woke and anti-woke or progressive values and traditionalist values.
“Lgbtqxyz doesn’t need any more support. Nobody is attacking them. They have just as many freedoms as the rest of us,” commented one Twitter user on Cook’s message.
“At this rate, bigotry will have nothing to use as transportation, nothing to drink, nothing to eat, and nothing to wear. And I love it.,” said another Twitter user.
“Disgusting to give them so much attention,” added another user opposed to the new product.
But others applauded the CEO’s initiative.
“I can’t wait to see all the right-wing bigots tweet about their Apple boycott from their iphones,” said a user.
Apple’s statement is bold because it comes at a time when the Walt Disney Co. (DIS) – Get Free Report is at war with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over LGBTQ+ issues and Anheuser Busch InBev’s (BUD) – Get Free Report Bud Light is at the center of a boycott campaign over the same issues.
Why Apple Isn’t Afraid of a Boycott
DeSantis (R-FL) calls the company too progressive since its leaders publicly denounced a the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in 2022 which restricts the teaching of subjects related to sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools in Florida. In February, DeSantis, a rising star of the American right wing who launched an offensive against a supposed “woke” culture, tried to eliminate a special district that Disney had operated in his state since the 1960s.
After an advertising campaign with a transgender influencer, the beer brand Bud Light was boycotted by some conservatives, a controversy aggravated by the convoluted communication from Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light. The controversy began on April 11 on social media, when Dylan Mulvaney posted a video on their Instagram account, which has 1.8 million subscribers, promoting the Bud Light beer. The influencer, who reached 10 million subscribers on TikTok, is famous for documenting her gender transition, which began during the covid-19 pandemic.
Bud Light displays have been smashed in supermarkets, and packs destroyed by gunfire, including by musician Kid Rock, supporter of former Republican president Donald Trump, who posted a video on Twitter showing him using beers of the brand as a target.
Apple, however, has a different customer base than Disney and Bud Light. The brand’s expensive products are most often purchased by consumers living in large cities and with big purchasing power. These consumers are, according to marketing studies, more receptive to progressive values. By launching an LGBTQ+ watch band, Apple is therefore preaching to the choir, and, above all, aims to retain this clientele which allows it to realize huge margins.
Moreover, Cook has never hidden that he is gay. So it’s also personal.
Disney, for its part, is aimed at a different client base, families. The same holds true for Bud Light whose clientele is the heart of America which feels overwhelmed by wokeism. The beer brand caters to blue collar consumers.