How Barenaked Ladies Made me Ignore My Principles

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I used to be an avid CD buyer (remember those?), and I used to shop at a big box retailer, let’s call them Big Blue, with some regularity.

Now, mention Big Blue to me and you’ll get an unwelcome rant about how much I hate shopping there, that I haven’t stepped foot in the store in years and how others online expound on how they loathe this behemoth. If you haven’t managed a clever excuse to get away or change the subject yet (you’re still making eye contact with him! Fake a heart attack and he’ll stop!), I’ll continue proselytizing in order to convert you to my side.

Except, I no longer remember why I get so worked up about this store.

I remember walking out annoyed at something. I know these somethings happened many times. But like differential calculus, the facts behind the memories have long slipped from my mind.

But I never hesitate to mention my misplaced displeasure.

A couple of years ago, the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies offered a special edition of their new CD exclusively through Big Blue. As rabid a Barenaked Ladies fan as I was a detractor of this chain store, my brain nearly short circuited from the dilemma of having to cross the transom of my retail enemy. In the end, good music won out and I soothed my embarrassment from the hypocrisy by listening to the CD all the way home.

So What Does this Barenaked Ladies CD have to do with marketing?

Marketing is reputation and reputation is marketing. From the smallest business to the largest national chain, reputation occupies the top rung of any marketing plan. You can toss out a huge chunk of your profits on marketing, but that might only make a dent in John Q Public’s sullied perception of you.

It may very well be that some of my trapped audience actually listened to me and never shopped at Big Blue again. Wouldn’t it have been great if Big Blue was able to forestall my relentless tirade against them and address the issues I had with them by giving me a chance to tell them early on about my experiences?

Small businesses can easily give the disgruntled a chance to voice their displeasure with BARQAR Marketing’s Reputation Management Service. As a bonus, they might find out about systemic problems that are driving clients away — and driving them to complain to their unlucky colleagues.

I don’t think Big Blue would have cared about my concerns much less addressed them, but if you are interested in knowing what your visitors think about your company, it’s better to find our sooner than later. If nothing, think of the poor souls who will end up corralled by that customer whose concerns you could have addressed.

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