The right is buzzing today about Chick-fil-A's record sales yesterday. And it's pretty clear that now, Chick-fil-A is even more closely linked with the Teavangelicals than they were before.
But branding themselves as the Official Fast Food Chain of the Christian Right is a terrible long-term business strategy for them, for three reasons.
One, the demographic that opposes gay marriage -- older, white Christian conservatives -- is declining in this country. Businesses depend on growth, so tying your businesses' future prospects to a shrinking population is a losing strategy. Chick-fil-A now has the same problem as the Republican Party.
Two, the audience advertisers covet most -- the 18-49 crowd -- are in favor of gay marriage. By publicly embracing anti-gay positions -- including the support of hate groups -- Chick-fil-A is alienating the single most important demographic there is. And brand perceptions are very difficult to reverse once they've set in.
Three, this is a battle Chick-fil-A can't win. The majority of Americans support marriage equality. And no matter how many right-wingers stuff their faces with fried chicken sandwiches and pickles, and no matter how much money the company throws to the Family Research Council -- gay marriage is here to stay. To chain your brand to an increasingly unpopular anvil that has no chance of reversing itself is not an exercise of courage -- it's an act of self-indulgence.
Chick-fil-A might be enjoying record sales today, but let's see where they are in ten years. If I were KFC, McDonald's, BK -- or any chain that sold Chick-fil-A's easily knocked-off chicken sandwiches -- I'd go for the kill.
HRC makes a similar point, and notes Chick-fil-A's BrandIndex scores have plummeted since the controversy began.