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Can We Market with Dignity?

Can a marketing process co-exist with dignity?
It can when there is a clear company vision and a sense of service rather than pandering to the target audience.

I contend there is a fine line between clever, cheap and desperate.
So, the deal-breaker condition is setting boundaries.

Around what, you might ask?
Let’s peek back at the premise of the business for starters.
If we are a mega church promoting family values, what are
we doing accepting ads from questionable sources or gambling
establishments, for example?

“Anything goes” can be a dangerous approach to diluting your
message and more seriously marring your name and reputation.
It quickly turns into, “What were we thinking?”

Take the beer ads . . . please (old comedian’s joke.)
Do they inspire the audience to buy beer or are they a desperate attempt to entertain people with empty heads and encourage brainless behavior? Dignity has flown out while “dumbed down” has flown in. There are no boundaries here and that is a problem. What used to be edgy is now questionably legal in some cases. For example, a liquor company advertised very young people drinking in the commercials. They were called on it because the actors appeared to be under “21.”

What was the last “anything goes” episode in your company?
How often have you sat in a creative meeting or listened to a
client say they wanted to go in a precarious direction?
What’s your role at that moment?

What can be missing from these meetings is any link back to original business premise.
So, Step 1 might be, “Link back to your original business premise!”

Step 2—Speak “truth to power.” Yes, it is frightening at first, then it’s freeing,
because if you are chastised for expressing an opinion, brainstorming ideas
or supporting an idea, how much do you really want to work for the
“storm troopers” anyway. Go back to your office and put your exit strategy together.

Step 3—While controversy can be stirring and consciousness raised, be available
to handle the fall out if it goes off track. (Research how Jack In The Box Restaurants
or Johnson & Johnson weathered the storms of controversy and won.) The illusion
of control is alluring. Yet, it is in these crisis moments that control leaves the room.
You must be on solid ground and head in the direction of integrity and dignity.

Step 4—Who is an appropriate spokesperson for your message?
How does that person’s persona and real life match with your company?
Celebrity, notoriety, fame for its own sake is fleeting. You want your product
to be around beyond the next baseball season.
Besides, I’ve wondered what matter is it that a “star” buys a product unless
the viewer somehow believes the halo effect will shine on them and they will
magically look like Halle Berry when the makeup is on!
Really? Is our audience that shallow?

Or, is that how little we think of our audience? Where’s the dignity now?

Step 5—Be who you say you are. Your company policies and quality standards
are on the line every day. Money back guarantee? Then, don’t hassle people
when they want a refund. Exchange policy? Be clear what can replaced.
The same few company names land on the “best service” list each time.
Take a look at what they’re doing and do it!

I’d enjoy your feedback on how dignity is present or not in your work circumstances.
Comment here or drop me an email at mcubas@positivepotentials.com. Au revoir.

Your coach,
Michelle Cubas



As a credentialed business coach and analyst, one of my primary functions is to work with individuals and company managers to clarify where they are presently, where they would like to advance, and what tools they have and need to achieve their desired outcome.

I use a variety of tools to assess perceptions including Platinum Rule instruments, my experience and training in assessing behavior. My preferred tool is the EQ-i®, emotional intelligence inventory. I have specialized training on the EQ-i® and DISC Inventories and access to multiple other sources including a company culture index. I prefer the EQ-i® because it is the least judgmental instrument I have found. It focuses on strengths and areas of development related to the goals set by the individual. For example, people are more likely to apply the EQ-i®’s information rather than label themselves by the Myers-Briggs categories.

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