Marketing and my Dead Dog

My late dog Buddy has popped up in this column periodically.

As my marketing agency’s mascot, he helped put smiles onto clients’ faces. He reviewed my columns, occasionally writing in asking how to get squeaky toys or snacks.

Attorney Lance Margolin noted “To have the love of a dog is truly a privilege. Sadly, their short lifespans must be one of God’s crueler tricks.”

I concur. Buddy’s 14 years with us seemed painfully brief, and his passing was devastating for all who knew him.

Cleaning out the pantry afterwards, I discovered unopened cans of dog food that he’d shown interest in, then rejected. This, in turn, led to a lesson in human kindness.

Visiting Escondido’s Trader Joe’s, I explained the situation to the manager. I had no receipt or proof I’d bought it there.

All I had was a dead dog.

Alex took an interest in my story, taking time to look at my pictures. He never questioned me or suggested I was anything other than sincere.

He not only reimbursed me for the dog food, but paid for some flowers for my family.

He was a real mensch…an upstanding guy…and he has my thanks and undying loyalty.

The obvious goals of any business is to be profitable and pay employees a fair, livable wage. To reach these objectives, we advertise, network, promote, and (hopefully) deliver on our promises.

What’s sometimes forgotten, though, is that we’re all human. We make mistakes, get cranky, miss appointments, or need to be reminded of things.

Prompting these issues may be a spousal argument, physical disorder, a sick child…or an ailing friend.

Regardless of your field, you, too, can be a mensch. Send good wishes if a supplier gets married or gives birth. Be supportive when someone dies. Remember how you’d like to be treated, and pay it forward.

Alex reminded me that, regardless of your business, each of us sometimes gets a chance to do the right thing. Bypassing short-term profits in lieu of customer goodwill is guaranteed to be better for the bottom line over the longer term.

Because management’s simple gesture of flowers ensures I’ll do business at Escondido’s Trader Joe’s LONG after the event itself is history.

Wouldn’t you like to have customers saying that about your business?

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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Find me on Instagram at www.instagram.com/askmistermarketing.

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