As I reviewed the company’s dossier, product line, and customer experience reviews, I realized this CEO had a much bigger problem than his ads. The chain had lost its way. It had alienated its core customer base by abandoning the electronics business and becoming more of an appliance store. It had pushed design and manufacturing offshore, leaving headquarters without talent who really understood electronics. As a result, the quality of store-brand products had deteriorated, leading customers to buy other brands at thinner margins. Finally, corporate HQ had alienated its store managers through infantilizing incentives schemes, and irritated its employees with oppressive ‘loss prevention’ (antitheft) policies. Yet this CEO really thought a shift in marketing would change his whole business.
Too many companies are obsessed with window dressing because they’re reluctant, no, afraid, to look at whatever it is they really do and evaluate it from the inside out. When things are down, CEO’s turn to consultants and marketers to rethink, rebrand or repackage whatever it is they are selling, when they should be getting back on the factory floor, into the stores, or out to the research labs where their product is actually made, sold, or conceived. Instead of making their communications less Saatchi and more Craig, they should be reinventing their core enterprise…
Douglas Rushkoff does thought virus marketing for his forthcoming book Get Back in the Box.
Via Boing Boing.