Fortunately, Trader Joe’s customers had not succumbed to seeing everything around them as a sign of racism and urged the company not to cave in to the petitioners’ demands. They rather valued TJ’s products, including the way they were labeled and marketed. The messages from customers reminded the company of the value-creation principle and led it to revise its response to the petition. It issued the now well-circulated statement
, which read, in part:
“We want to be clear: we disagree that any of these labels are racist. We do not make decisions based on petitions. We have heard from many customers reaffirming that these name variations are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended — as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing.”
Only by adhering to the principle of value creation can business succeed and survive in the long term. If it turns its focus away from its function in society, the creation and trade of material values we depend on, business cannot profit. Trying to appease every critic (as opposed to correcting genuine mistakes) would divert business from its positive focus and undermine its profitability and ability to survive.