A quarter of the U.S. population amounts to around 80 million people according to US Census data. "That's a lot of people that are saying politics are driving their purchasing behavior," said Chris Jackson, VP and strategic communication research lead at Ipsos Public Affairs.
"Socially conscientious consumerism has been on the rise for years," said Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations. "Given the combination of that trend and the current politically charged climate, it's not surprising to see that such a significant number of Americans have changed their shopping habits due to politics."
Daniel O'Connell, managing director and Brand Definition, a agency that works primarily with tech clients including Hitachi and Philips, was not convinced. That 25% number "probably changes with time," he said. "I think that number, sooner or later, it all equalizes."
The research firm's senior marketing, corporate strategy and public affairs executives worked together to build a survey looking at 28 brands in the politically charged weeks after President Trump's inauguration. Some, such as Nordstrom and Uber, were under fire from the right or left. Others, such as Intel and Comcast, had mostly steered clear. Ipsos asked respondents to identify their political affiliation.
The big takeaway according to Ipsos: Marketers can't always avoid the political fray any more, and are well-advised to at least know their consumers' political leanings.
Among brands not swept up in political fights, Ipsos found less partisan disparity. Roughly three-quarters of respondents from either party said they bought Coke products.