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Author: Dave Tabor

“Luxury Shopping with Purpose”

I saw this ad and it stopped me cold.  At first glance, I thought it meant that people were luxury shopping AS a fulfilling purpose in life.  “Wow,” I thought, “with the chasm between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ growing larger every day and the societal ramifications of that, this feels wrong.”

Intrigued (and not wanting to be off-base in this blog post), I visited the company’s website and learned that my first impression was mistaken.  The company sells luxury items and then donates 20% of the proceeds to worthwhile organizations that support girls.  The last line of their intro video says, “Your choice of where to shop matters.”  Another video says, “Improve the lives of children around the world by buying what you love.” In the video, the Olivela founder seems sincere, and I’m pretty confident that she is.  Certainly, it’s a much more authentic version of, for example, car dealers who say, “for every (name the brand) sold, we’ll donate $200 to (name the charity).”

But this whole trend of building a business based on the differentiation strategy of donating money – money spent by customers – really gives me pause.

I asked myself, why don’t I like it?

My conclusion is this… it’s the direct tie of donations to sales.

Contrast the above example to a company like Patagonia. Patagonia’s mission-driven approach (supporting environmental causes) is different because Patagonia doesn’t conditionally tie its good work to sales.  While Patagonia can of course conduct environmental efforts because of its customers, this is not its sales strategy.

If you are looking for purchases that improve the world, check out Colorado’s Women’s Bean Project.  And listen to the PROCO360  podcast episode with its CEO, Tamra Ryan.

I am in the Tribe: “Buffaloes”

I was following a car driven by someone who wasn’t particularly focused on moving along.  Clearly, the driver was texting, or in some other way distracted from the business of getting where she was going.

I was miffed.  Then I saw a CU Buffs sticker on her car and I relaxed.  I’m a Buffs football season ticket holder and both my sons, my wife and I have degrees from CU.  I recognized my dismissal of frustration because of the sticker – and thought, “this is weird.”

Maybe not.  Coincidentally at the time this happened I was (really!) re-listening to the book, Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins by Mark Schaefer.  And as I write this, I recall Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, and I’m reminded that as I seek to do business with someone new, it’s so important, and gratifying, to explore how we can authentically connect. Go Buffs!  #GoBuffs  @CUBuffs

 

 

I’m Like Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons!

I was at the Mumford & Sons concert at Fiddler’s Green and loved seeing the lead guitarist and vocalist, Marcus Mumford, step away from the front of the stage and move to the drums.

He seemed to be having a blast on the drums and it reminded me of my podcasting.  Yes, I have a “main job,” evangelizing for the Colorado Chamber of Commerce.  Podcasting gives me a chance to exercise other talents in a synergistic and joyful way.

The CEO Who Ghosted Me in Rocky Mountain National Park

I was on the return trip of a TOP 5 of my life hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  As I looked out over the majestic view I wondered, “can I think about work now if I want to?”  I know, kind of weird, but I wanted to see how I’d answer the question in the moment.

I considered a current challenge: a powerful CEO who had made a commitment to a deal and is now ghosting me. As I looked at the view you see here, I thought to myself, “that deal doesn’t matter very much now, it won’t matter at ALL in a few years, and it will have ZERO meaning to the world.”  If I had been sitting at my desk, I’d have been stressing about it.  Here, in this setting, my mind became free to choose to meet new people with whom I want to want to engage.

 

Lazy Selling Doesn’t Work. This does.

I received this (paid) message on LinkedIn.

The ridiculous irony here is that it’s from a guy selling marketing services.  His “proven method” offer is pure spam!  Unless spamming is what he’s selling, he’s not doing a very good job.

Seth Godin famously writes about “interruption marketing.”  I know when I reach out to prospective customers, I’m interrupting them.

I’ve been working harder to smartly engage people I’m interrupting with a thoughtful, highly relevant message that offers value.  My rule of thumb is to ask myself, “Am I ready to make a call/send an email this person will want to receive?” If not, I work at it until I am.  It’s hard – and it’s gratifying as fewer high-quality contacts are yielding better results.

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