You may have seen or heard about the #grabyourwallet campaign. If you haven’t, here’s a short background and how the power of PR should not be underestimated. The campaign started in response to Donald Trump’s “grab them by the p—y” remarks. Due to Donald Trump’s continuous scandalous comments about women, the owner of #grabyourwallet, Shannon Coulter, decided in October 2016 to start the campaign to strike back and hit the Trumps where it hurts…their wallet.
The goal of the campaign was to urge shoppers to boycott Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka’s product line. What happened next is an impressive downturn. The campaign went viral and big retail chain stores such as Nordstrom, Sears and Macy’s started to move away from her brand.
The boycott campaign was supposed to discredit Ivanka’s brand image as she was personally doing PR to support her father in his bid to become United States 45th president. Shortly after his inauguration, Trump tweeted “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!” The tweet raised interested in Ivanka’s products. Her fashion line reported a 346 percent increase in sales from January to February 2017. The reasons for increased sales is linked to Trump’s supporters who countered the boycott and were buying the products. However there have been conflicting reports regarding the sales of Ivanka’s brand products from a few other retail stores and industry reports.
Interestingly, the South China Morning Post reported that at least 65 Chinese companies from cosmetics to alcohol retailers have submitted applications to use Ivanka’s name as a trademark, giving them exposure through her name and brand.
Shannon’s initiative with #grabyourwallet campaign had an upside and a downside. While she got several major retail chains to drop Ivanka’s brand, the news received so much coverage that Trump’s supporters stepped up and it boosted sales. This demonstrates the power of PR and its influence on people and its impact on brands.