Monroe Friedman, writing in the Journal of Social Issues, states, "successful boycotts tended to be cognitively simple and emotionally appealing.” This is perhaps best illustrated in the case of the boycott of canned tuna. The premise is simple and emotional: why do fishermen need to kill dolphins to make canned tuna? (Remember Flipper, the frolicking dolphin that played with children?)
Just as it’s important to communicate the reasons for the boycott to the public, it’s just as important to communicate the reasons for the boycott to the boycotted company. In some cases, when the companies were presented good reasons to change their behaviour (the threat of a boycott and its negative publicity), they changed it.