On the Marketing of Integrity

Several years ago Handshake while I was in business with my brother, we were working through a list of our business distinctives. Asking a few trusted friends and advisors to provide their perspective on our business, we were encouraged by one of them to list integrity as a business distinctive. It was clearly one of our core values, and she felt we should market it as such. We declined, and for good reason. I am aware that a number of businesses use integrity as a marketing tool, and some have included the word in their business name. Although most of us want our brand to symbolize integrity in the minds of our clients and prospective clients, I believe marketing integrity is an unwise practice, for several reasons.

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior Ori Brafman has previously co-written The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations along with Rod Beckstrom. I’ve previously mentioned the book a couple of times, and was looking forward to delving into Ori’s new book, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, written with his brother, Rom Brafman.  I was pleased when it arrived by FedEx, and I devoured it pretty quickly.

Comparing well with Blink and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Sway, like Starfish, is well-written and entertaining as the Brafmans explain how people’s judgment is swayed in various contexts.  Recognizing the types of context in which one’s judgment is likely to be swayed can help avert poor decision-making.  As the old saying goes, “forewarned is forearmed.”

Lying to Your Customers

I freelance, and I work from home. A lot of people work from home these days, and many try to hide that fact, putting on an image that’s bigger than they are by using a variety of techniques, such as continually referring to your company as “we” when there’s really only an “I”. Now, there’s image-building, and then there’s lying to your customers.

10 Bucks Goes a Long Way

WestJet’s website greets you with the slogan, “Because owners care.” They’re carefully building an advertising strategy around the fact that 85% of their employees are shareholders in the company and contribute an average of 13% of their salaries into share purchases. They make a big deal about their staff, boasting, “We have 31 Karens, 39 Lisas, 67 Jens, 67 Davids, 46 Michelles, 86 Michaels and 1 Yoga at WestJet.” And all of this is what’s supposed to motivate the staff to provide the best customer service in the industry.