Meatball Sundae Thought #2: Get your story straight ~ Brand Mix

Monday, December 31, 2007

Meatball Sundae Thought #2: Get your story straight

In his new book, Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin identifies 14 trends that he says are ushering a new era of marketing. Trend 3: Need for an authentic story as the number of sources increases. As he points out: "Saying one thing and doing another fails, because you'll get caught."

Let's take a look at this values statement:

Our Associates are our greatest assets. We expect every Associate to demonstrate that they respect and value others for their efforts, their knowledge, and the diversity that they bring.

First of all, there are lots of companies that say that their employees are the greatest asset but there's certainly fewer of them that actually behave as if they mean it. But this particular statement comes from Circuit City's values and this company beats all others in 2007 for saying one thing and doing the opposite.

As Dean Baker reports in his Beat The Press post, Circuit City decided earlier this year to fire all its senior salespeople and replace them with cheaper, new hires. The math looked great just as long as they didn't assign any value to the experience and knowledge of the people that were let go.

Dean refers to this Washington Post article that shows that this decision has not helped Circuit City's performance, although it has financially helped senior executives because they've all been given up to $1 million retention awards to encourage them to stay on through this difficult period.

Now the company has is seeking "to rebuild our selling culture," according to chief executive Philip J. Schoonover. Good luck on that.


BIG said...

I wrote a similar artcile a while back about Bose:

These guys just don't get it.

Martin Bishop said...

That's a great example as well. Maybe, in this new marketing age, as transparency increases such mismatches between how a company acts externally (towards its customers and how it acts internally (towards its employees) will have more consequence.

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