“Manipulating the masses into buying stuff they don’t need! That’s what I do! That’s marketing!”
That’s an actual quote I once heard from a marketing director. This was during an inventing session, the goal of which was to create new products that would make his customers (in other words, people) happier.
I’ve also been in a conference room when an executive flat-out called his customers (also people) “stupid.”
In the late ‘90s, the first-wave dot-coms casually referred to people as “eyeballs” to be “collected.” (This is one reason why so few of them exist today.)
And your cell-phone provider probably offers a better deal to its new customers than to you, a long-time customer.
These are examples of disrespect. As a consumer, you’ve no doubt been on the receiving end of others. Respect, like many corporate values, is often claimed – but much less often acted upon.
So leading with respect – placing it front & center in all our brand decisions – can help us stand out. It builds better relationships. And it’s a better way of being.
Start with respect, and you’ll never go too far wrong. Also:
If we don’t respect our consumers, we’ll never serve them well.
If we can’t respect our consumers, let’s find a new line of work.
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew is a former CMO who helps brands and businesses to focus, grow and win. Since founding his consultancy, Three Deuce Branding, in 1997, he’s helped hundreds of brands to achieve “brand clarity.” His consulting services and speaking engagements help brands to focus on what matters through positioning, strategy and ideation. Contact Matthew here. He’s based in Chicago.
Copyright 2020 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.