Reader Email: Bad Marketing

by Johnny Debacle

Our Hungarian friend Anonymous emailed us this question:

When I come out of the [subway] station, there is always a middle aged man selling Boston Herald’s wearing a YANKEES hat. With such a cheap discretionary purchase, one that is marginal and dependent [on] conveniece and low transaction costs, why would anyone doing [that for a living] think it was wise to wear a Yankees hat? What would the equivalent be in business? It’s even worse because the Herald is such a rag that is often given away for free later in the day.

In a situation where you were closing a deal or pitching a fund, the only thing that would compare would be saying something like “I would love to bang your wife/husband….again” and then handing him/her a glossy shot of you banging his/her wife/husband. As for a comparable act in the greater business world, maybe a company with a catalog driven sales model putting a white powder in all their catalogs? Or Panda Express replacing their banner with a biohzard logo; this would also have a high social benefit. (Panda Express was the 47th largest chain in the US in terms of revenue in FY’05. Just think about how many cases of food poisoning that likely represents….)

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