Tuesday, November 1, 2011


training people to smile ...spontaneously .... with chinese sticks .... keep them from falling down and do not touch them with your lips ...

no limits for inflicting unnecessary suffering to people working for peanuts

Friday, February 11, 2011

Freedom of choice or chose the freedom

According to an Harvard Business Review article, customer value should be the number one concern for the new dawn of corporate life. They argue that shareholder value was not increased by professionalizing management and latter making companies public as it was argued by Berle or Chandler.

Thus, the new focus should be the customer. That is certainly in line with the recent bible of every marketing pundit.

But is this what really happens? Is that the every day experience people have in their relationship with companies? Large or small. Multinational or local.

Do people feel the wonders promised by the excitement that adds bring? Do people feel part of a dream world where happy consumers are the center and the purpose of companies? Is it really the time to replace Kottler’s four p’s for the new age four e’s? Experiment, emotions, excitement, exchange! A sort of everlasting here and now wonderful world of happiness provided you are perpetually shopping some stuff…

Do people actually live inside a Starbucks café?

Or do people increasingly feel mistreated by impersonal robots making outbound calls to assess customer “satisfaction”? By denial tactics every time you try claim a guarantee?

In Europe the law requires companies to supply a two year guarantee over parts, components and the general functions of equipments or software. Nevertheless, Apple only complies with a standard one year guarantee and “pushes” the second year to it’s distributors who are “forced” by customers to comply, not without, or before, being subject to several tactics to dismiss responsibility or to avoid the fulfillment of these guarantees.

In an age of “social networks” these behaviors might lead to problems such as boycotts or bad publicity. But do companies really care? Are these bubbles of noise generated by disgruntled consumers really damaging company’s reputations?

Does it really payoff to be the nice guy? Or if one trains employees into several tactics to discourage consumers to demand their rights in the end they are able to reduce to 1% the consumers that actually walk the mile and get the replacement, the repair, the compensation just a minor cost.

The capitalist credo states that people enjoy and have greater liberty of choice because freedom to do business in open free markets generates greater wealth and diversity of offers. Plus capitalism has a bonus. It walks hand in hand with democracy, transparency and political freedom.

Does it really?

Martin, R (2010) The Age of Consumer Capitalism. Harvard Business Review. January –February (58-65)