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“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

 

 

We Aren’t Our Best Yet

In contemplating my most recent podcast with Matt Hyder, Founder of Recoup Fitness, it occurred to me that he’s come such a LONG way.  He graduated from high school with a 1.9 GPA and failed at four businesses.  Now, still in his twenties, Matt has a company that will grow from $850K in sales in 2018 to over $6 Million in 2019.  Matt’s focus remains on learning and getting better – good thing. 

His early career – Fresh Prince of Bellaire.  Later in his career, brilliant, poignant acting.   

Now that I have experience and improved skills, I have to remind myself that people don’t start out at their best and sometimes not even close to their best.  Even harder than that, is the painful truth that I still make mistakes that beg, “shouldn’t you be better than THAT” by now?”

 

Artificial Turf vs. Real Marketing

I just read The Marketing Rebellion – the Most Human Company Wins, by Mark Schaefer.  His premise, wonderfully brought forward, is that customers – not the business – drive successful marketing now, and increasingly will going forward.  I was struck (and entertained) by the extreme antithesis of that approach in the ad shown below.

I laughed at the irony in this ad: ARTIFICIAL TURF JUST GOT REAL.  It’s a cute headline, but it’s an example of a company that isn’t even aligning its own claims with its promises within one ad – how can this be putting the customer in a position to be the company’s marketing voice?  To me, companies that aren’t seeing the customer (and not advertising) their way to grow, create HUGE opportunities for those who build a business around what Schaefer calls “The Marketing Rebellion.”

Sincerity only achieved by solving SOMEONE ELSE’S problem

(When a baby bear gets my attention on LinkedIn, Part 2)

In Part 1 of this blog, I reflected on getting attention in today’s noisy marketplace. A social media expert’s advice comes to mind: “Talk about your audience 10 times more than you talk about yourself.” People are taking this approach – so many posts celebrating, appreciating, liking what others are doing – and why?  Because those posting often believe this reflects favorably on THEM: “Look at me!  I’m talking about you!”  It’s a cacophony of BS.

Sincerity is only achieved by solving SOMEONE ELSE’S problem.

I’m reading Seth Godin’s new book, THIS IS MARKETING – You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.” He states there are three sentences we must complete (well) to be effective marketers:

My product is for people who believe…

I will focus on people who want…

I promise that engaging with what I make will help you get…

This creates alignment of people for whom we can solve problems.  That’s sincerity, and focusing on THAT will get us more of the attention we want, and we’ll deserve it.  Want more inspiration?  Read another of my book recommendations:  Bluefishing, the Art of Making Things Happen.

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