Starbucks’ end of January announcement to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years, and the subsequent boycott some group’s called for the next day, appear to have brought the national chain to its lowest perception level since last May.
Since the January 29th hiring announcement, Starbucks’ consumer perception levels fell by two-thirds, as measured by YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score ("If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?").
The backlash may hit the bottom line too: two days before Starbucks’ announcement, 30% of consumers said they’d consider buying from Starbucks the next time they wanted to buy coffee, the highest it’s been since last March. The percentage is now down to 24%, matching last August’s levels.