Speaking out against Indiana’s “religious freedom” legislation helped Apple’s business, according to new research from Aaron Chatterji of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Michael Toffel of Harvard Business School.
In an online survey, Chatterji and Toffel found that survey respondents who were informed of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s public stance on the Indiana RFRA were more likely to express an intention to purchase the company’s products in the near future, compared to those who were informed about Cook’s management philosophy and those who received no framing information.
The authors found that Cook’s stance on the RFRA positively impacted Apple’s brand perception among people who supported LGBT rights, now a majority of the country. Interestingly, Cook’s activism did not really negatively impact the purchasing intent of people who oppose LGBT rights. Generally, such individuals didn’t seem to care either way.