Mighty Decision 2016 may be many things but it certainly hasn't shown any signs of being over. Most election cycles, companies large and small try to stick to a level of business-friendly neutrality. But the Trump/Clinton divide has brought out the pitchforks in the culture wars more than any election, perhaps, ever, so it isn't surprising that even the multinationals aren't keeping quiet. Back in October, one of America's largest brewers, Yuengling, caused a stir when they very-publicly endorsed Trump. And just last week, The Kellogg Company--the food brand behind Frosted Flakes and Pop-Tarts--pulled its advertising dollars from Breitbart, the far-right wing website connected to the soon-to-be Counselor to the President, Steve Bannon. It's now a Twitter war.
So why do companies do it? Should you do it?
Back in 2012, Chick-Fil-A got in some steamy water when Dan Cathy, its COO, announced his opposition to gay marriage and it was revealed that the company had been donating money to a host of anti-gay nonprofits. But shortly afterward, the company seemed to regret the move: soon rescinding its capacity to have any opinion on anything at all and slowly cutting any financial connection the brand had to less reputable charities.
But the effect of that endorsement was curious: sales had mysteriously soared, occasional-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee had announced a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. On the other hand, this year, the retailer Target suffered a 6.4% percent decrease in its is stock value and a 10% percent drop in Buzz score, a consumer perception index, shortly after aligning itself with the rights of transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice. Did that mean a political stance had to be aligned with the local geopolitics of your brand in order to galvanize your most passionate customers to make up for any boycotting? Or did it mean that the effect of taking a stance on big-ticket issues were simply too chaotic to make business sense?
Others have speculated that the particular divisiveness of the current climate might work to practically mitigate whatever political direction you take your brand: a poll conducted by Morning Consult found that "Americans are just as split when it comes to whether they'll support or oppose businesses that take a position on Trump," with 35% of respondents saying they are less likely to shop at a store that supported Trump and 31% saying they are more likely to. More important, says Carol Cone, a PR consultant that Morning Star talked to, is that a brand maintain consistency: "[Brands] shouldn't shift because that would be inauthentic," Cone explained, and instead companies should focus on "social issues that are aligned with their business, their brands [and] their purpose."
A more successful alternative, suggests Jonathan Haidt, a professor of business and ethics at NYU and author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, might be aligning your brand with social movements that the average person simply cares about less. "Over the last 5-10 years many businesses have made environmental responsibility and sustainability into a part of their brand and strategy, especially high end consumer products," he cited to me as an example, noting that "rich people care more about such things than do poor people." By catering your business' politics toward a niche that your product in some way serves, the statement becomes part of your brand. People might actually feel good about working with your business!
"Much of the action is greenwashing," Haidt concluded, "but much is sincere too."
Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.
However, there are downsides to staying in a host's home rather than a hotel. Whereas hotels are designed for constant streams of visitors and often have furniture built to last, at an Airbnb, you may be staying on old or cheap furniture that a host is using in order to maximize their profits.
And while most reputable hotels will have regular room inspections from staff to check for any wear and tear, Airbnb damage disputes are oftentimes he said, she said situations. If you are in an Airbnb and something breaks, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you are not on the hook for damages out of your control.
If you're keeping tabs on the art and tech worlds, you've probably been hearing whispers about "NFTs" for the past month. Just over the past week they've entered the mainstream lexicon.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made the news for selling his first ever tweet. The app has been teasing paid subscription models and newsletter-like features, but tweets for sale is "the next frontier."
just setting up my twttr— jack (@jack)1142974214.0
The 2006 tweet went up for auction as an NFT, and the current bid is $2.5 Million. But what does it mean to own that? Why would anyone want to? And what even is an NFT?
Long gone are the days when the majority of Americans dreamed about owning a home with a white picket fence.
The traditional American Dream may be on its deathbed, but that doesn't mean a core component of the vision can't survive. It simply takes a diverse perspective. People can still believe they can attain their own vision of success in society with hard work, knowledge, and risk-taking. Investing in today's American Dream may literally mean investing money in our modern economy, starting with our infrastructure.
Real estate investing in particular is a lucrative method that can boost income and secure a better financial future for many. There's always risk involved, but the payoffs can far outweigh the uncertainty. Selecting solid financial investments is about confidence and competence. If you're looking for some advice on this kind of investment, here are a few savvy tips for new real estate investors.
Stick To a Specific Strategy or Niche
Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.
First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.
Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options
While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.
Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.
Master the Art of Finding Good Deals
There may be hundreds of thousands of available properties for sale on the current market, but the bulk of them will never amount to the final money-making result you desire. Another great tip for new real estate investors is to use good math to estimate profit. Taking risks is part of the process, but you have the ability to analyze properties and use networking sources to find the greatest deal. You can't win every deal, but you can steadily work towards a thriving financial future.