"Ebola Costume Sparks Halloween Controversy"
"Retailer Forced to Apologize Over 'Fat Girl' Halloween Costumes Category"
"Parental Complaints Result in Racy Halloween Costumes Getting Pulled"
Every year, at this time of the year, headlines like these litter the news. For some reason, retailers can't seem to avoid controversies during the Halloween season. Often, selling scandalous costumes results to some grumbling among some customers and nothing more than that - but more and more, customers are making their voices heard on social media and are forcing retailers to reconsider.
Can selling controversial Halloween costumes spook your customers? Sure, there's the risk of a potential PR mishap, but can it really result to lost sales? To find out, we engaged our one of our own insight communities, the Angus Reid Forum, to learn more about the attitudes of Canadian customers regarding this issue.
As the infographic below shows, we found that half of Canadians are aware of Halloween costume controversies. Awareness about provocative children costumes is particularly high: about 4 in 10 people confess to being aware. But while awareness of each of the other controversies is low, most customers would rather see contentious costumes pulled off the shelves.
Businesses should pay attention because 1 in 5 Canadians indicate that they won't hesitate to bring their business elsewhere if a retailer refuses to remove products they deem controversial. But there might be a better approach: prevention. Engaging with your customers before Halloween and letting customer intelligence shape your Halloween marketing strategy will help your brand avoid controversy in the first place.
See our infographic below for more info.