Progressive Shopper is a new Chrome extension that identifies which political groups a brand has donated to. The platform informs consumers who also like to vote with their wallets.
Installing the Progressive Shopper Chrome extension labels a retailer’s website with one of three flags based on which political parties they primarily donate to. Blue indicates Democrats, Republicans are red and bipartisan donations are marked in purple. Clicking on the flag will provide more information that includes overall contribution and a breakdown of giving by political action committee and employees.
The extension then makes a recommendation based on the retailer’s donations reported to Federal Election Commission. According to the app’s ‘How it works’ section on their website, “the data on the site covers the 2016 election cycle and the 2018 election cycle up through September 18, 2018.” If the user runs into a company that is misaligned with their own political views, Progressive Shopper will provide alternatives.
The widening schism between US citizens has given birth to a new kind of brand relationship. Where consumers once scrutinized a product or service based on price or customer service, brands are increasingly expected to take sides.
According to a recent study by Accenture Strategy, 37 percent of consumers are attracted to a brand that takes a political stand on issues dear to their heart and half appreciate it when a company stands up for societal and cultural issues.
“Companies are under the spotlight like never before as they struggle for competitive advantage in the context of this reality. Their customers aren’t just making decisions based on the stalwarts of product selection or price. They’re now assessing what a brand says. What it does. What it stands for,” the study says.
The donation data Progressive Shopper taps into and compiles is public record, but it is stored in large databases that may not be easy to access for consumers.
“Americans only have an opportunity to have their voice heard at the ballot box once every two years,” said Progressive Shopper co-founder Mark Hanis in a statement. “But by shopping with brands that support what you support, and not giving your money to those that don’t, you can make your voice heard every single day and hold the private sector accountable.”
Users can also browse the Progressive Shopper website by retailer, brand or product to see if any political donation reports have been compiled.