BC Business Magazine
Remaining nonpartisan may seem like the safest business approach, but sometimes it makes sense to take sides
Taking a political stand can be a smart business move
Unless you peddle buttons, cardboard signs or television airtime, or you own a hot-dog stand near a polling place, this month's provincial election is unlikely to influence what products you sell. And yet as politics becomes more polarized, not every company chooses to stay above the partisan fray. Nor can every business make that decision for itself.
Vancouver's Storm Crow Tavern/ Alehouse didn't want to stay neutral. After the election of Donald Trump, the bistro pub flew straight into the battle with a series of cocktails mocking the 45th president of the United States. There was the Tax Return (which, unlike Trump's, was delivered upon request), the Tiny Handtini (with a cottoncandy comb-over), If She Wasn't My Daughter and one named for a general expression of dismay that we will simply call the [bleep]. According to Storm Crow proprietor Jason Kapalka, who previously co-founded Popcap Games before selling it to Electronic Arts Inc., the response was almost universally positive. “We were pretty surprised at how many [bleeps] we sold, considering it's just three shots of vodka and a bowl of Cheetos at an arbitrary price point of $20,” he says. “But people thought it expressed their feelings uniquely well.”
It helped that Kapalka was donating 50 per cent of profits to relevant local