Happy holidays ... or is it merry Christmas?
A willingness to use the word "Christmas" in seasonal advertising is just one of many criteria the brand strategy firm Faith Driven Consumer employs as it rates companies for its Faith Equality Index. The group looks to see how well Christians are viewed "as an equally valued, welcomed and respected community in the rich rainbow of diversity."
According to FDC, 70 percent of faith-driven consumers are unhappy with their current brand relationships, which they may find disrespectful to their worldview. The firm's ratings — inspired by the success of similar efforts by LGBT groups and others — are designed to drive Christian consumers to companies that support their values.
"It's probably the most underserved and fluid market segment currently present," said Chris Stone, founder of FDC, which describes itself as a consumer advocacy organization. "It's rapidly emerging and economically powerful but still relatively immature."
According to a Big Crunch analysis, being high on the FDC list means that a company is less likely to rank high on other indexes, like the Corporate Equality Index issued by the Human Rights Campaign, a LGBT advocacy group. But in terms of stock returns, Christian-friendly companies don't do any better or worse than the rest.