Published on: January 24, 2011
I drew a metaphor last week between current ineffective attempts to wipe out the bedbug population and the business of marketing. Bedbugs, it seems, have evolved to the point where they are resistant to traditional methods of killing them because they developed a resistance; there is, I suggested, a great business lesson:If you compete today using tried and true and traditional strategies and tactics, there is a very strong possibility that at some point the situation will begin resisting them. The competition adjusts, the customer begins to ignore them or become inured to their charms, and the dog-eat-dog world keeps spinning on its access. Suddenly, you’re playing catch up ... which is never a good competitive situation to be in.
One MNB user wrote:I couldn’t agree more on your view of the bedbug situation. This highlights the importance of sales & marketing role leading companies into the future. Unfortunately, many companies are too short-term, financially driven to see the future unless it impacts this year’s bottom line. These companies continue to lose site of the “why” they are in business, using financial return as the sole business objective.
Responding to our story last week about people’s poor eating habits while watching football games, MNB user Dave Ahrens wrote:I've noticed that people are not starting diets after the first of the year but will wait till after the Super Bowl, myself included. Take the Biggest Loser Challenge, I believe it starts after the Super Bowl.
We reported last week on a labor-management battle ongoing at Acme, which led one MNB user to write:There are many reasons for Acme and Supervalu’s challenges across the country. However, Local 1776 is one of the primary reasons that Acme is quickly losing market share in the Philadelphia area. Rather than joining forces with Acme to find mutually beneficial ways to improve the company’s competitive position, they are fighting them at every turn. The Local 1776 contract puts Acme at a significant disadvantage to the non-unionized competitors that are growing in the market, specifically Giant and Wegmans. If Local 1776 looks to the long term, they have to realize that if they don’t work with Acme, all of those jobs are at risk.
On another subject, MNB user David Vincent Dec wrote:In response to your headline regarding Duane Reade offering beer on tap. I have always thought a great opportunity in retail, specifically, ladies clothing stores, is to offer beer on tap. That way, men would go with their ladies and make a real date out of it. The ladies would spend more time in the stores shopping meaning more dollars and the guys would go along for the beer - more money for the retailers - and help the ladies spend more money. I am reminded of an old Bud Beer commercial wear a guy goes shopping with his gal and he hears a group of guys under a clothing round - see, I know what that is because I go shopping with my girl. When the guy hears the sound he sees in the clothes round a group of guys watching sports and drinking Bud. They weren't far off and I want this!
Me, too. We are so on the same page.
And MNB user Tom Murphy wrote:I agreed 100% with your commentary pertaining to this article with the exception of your last sentence which read, “Companies and unions end up at loggerheads when they don’t realize that they are all in it together...”.
Let’s stop kidding ourselves, they know they are in it together. This is all about posturing. Neither side will budge until there is a crisis of some sort…and then, it may be too late. Sounds like the free-for-all down in Washington, doesn’t it!!
Funny you say that.
I was listening to the Monica Crowley radio show over the weekend, and she was interviewing Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who was expressing his views on various issues. At the end of the interview, King made the following statement:
“My father used to tell me that when you think you are right, all compromise is an immoral act”
I almost drove off the road.
Think about the statement for a moment.
I have no problem with the notion that most people - even elected officials - know the difference between right and wrong, and try, when possible, to do the right thing. I would not be so arrogant as to suggest that one side or the other has a monopoly on being right, nor that only one side actually believes that what it is doing is right and that the other side is simply craven and self-serving in its behavior; if you start from that premise, regardless of which side you are on, the effect is to end conversation and discussion. Which is a lousy way to legislate.
The problem with King’s statement is that it has nothing to do with governing or legislating. It simply brings the process to a halt, if everybody adopts the same attitude, because all compromise is an immoral act.
It may in fact be that the real problem in Washington is not that too many people are posturing and don’t have sincere beliefs. The real problem may be that too many people are so busy talking, so caught up in their own sense of righteousness, that they make intelligent, centrist governance impossible.
Forgive the rant ... but you brought it up.
We got a number of emails responding to Michael Sansolo’s coverage of the World of Healthy Flavors conference. One went like this:Hey, saw on Dr. Oz the other day where a researcher said that we should all consume raw milk from pasture fed cows so that we got all the nutrients, etc that pasteurizing destroys. But what do I know, I am 70 and was raised on raw milk, home churned butter and ate eggs from an egg farm that were all cracked, duh? Methinks that the Nanny State is going too far!!!!
Except that this isn’t the nanny state. This is a private industry initiative, prompted by a public policy initiative that is tied to what many people feel is a significant health, economic and national security threat to the nation.
One other thing. When the hell did pasteurization become such a horrible thing? I thought it was a significant scientific breakthrough that changed the face of food safety...
Louis Pasteur must be rolling over in his grave.
Another MNB user wrote:In regard to the World of Healthy Flavors conference and all of the well-meaning folks trying to figure out how best to educate shoppers... This dialogue and practice has been going on for more than a decade with few results. There is little question that shoppers simply do not care.
They aren’t interested in being educated. Furthermore, they all know that the stuff in the box isn’t as good as fruit or a salad. They generally understand the messages out there (more or less). They’re not sheep. And most data from studies of calories counts on menu boards show similar patterns. We just don’t care!
That's why I found it ironic that (at least some) cafeterias struggle with declining use after a switch to healthier food. When I was in high school they tried a similar program and a majority of those that could leave campus would. And those not permitted to leave would wait for others to bring them fast food.
I don’t buy that shoppers don’t care. I think they often don’t know the facts, which is not the same thing, or that sometimes other issues - price, convenience, time, the whiny cry of a implacable child - take precedence. I get that.
I know one thing. When I go into fast food restaurants that post calorie counts, that information definitely has an impact on what I order ... and at least when I order something that has the potential to turn my blood into a solid, immovable, heart-stopping mass by the third bite, I’ve done it with my eyes open.
The most facile argument against transparency is “customers don’t care.” But it is not, in my view, a legitimate defense of obfuscation.
And another MNB user wrote:The last line of Michael’s article made me cringe. Link in parents so they don’t undo what the school did during the day??? Are you kidding me. I am one parent who knows about the information you’re putting out and quite frankly, STAY OUT OF MY BUSINESS!!!!!!
I am going home tonight with a box of candy bars and a case of soda and let my boys have a fun time. Now tell me I am stupid and do not know anything about nutrition, when the real truth is I don’t need to be educated. Keep it to yourself.
Well, we can debate whether or not you need to be educated. It has been my experience that only the truly ignorant say that they don’t need to be educated ... we all need to learn, and if we’re lucky, we learn something new every day.
But putting that aside for a moment ... what you don’t understand - and, based on previous emails that have been posted here, seem totally unwilling to understand - is that the educational information is out there for you to use or not use. Some parents will access it, some won’t. It is up to you, as it should be.
But for you to suggest that because you don’t want to use it the information should not be available seems completely arrogant - in the way that some people seem to believe that their way of viewing the world is the only way to view the world.
Do what you want. Feed your kids what you want. Use - or don’t use - the information available to you.
But be good enough to grant the rest of us the same privilege.