Tag Archives: bad behavior

How Do Companies Rank on Reputation?

21 Jan

Several companies have taken big hits to their reputations in recent years, including Volkswagen, Sears, Monsanto, and Goldman Sachs. Other companies are rated quite highly, such as Wegmans Food Markets, Amazon.com, Samsung, and Costco.

Take a look at the slideshow below, which highlights the findings of the 2015 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® Study.
 

 

The Impact of Company Ethics on Consumer Behavior

14 Jan

Do consumers really care about whether companies are ethical when they decide to patronize them? Or are other attributes (such as brand loyalty, price, convenience, assortment, etc.) so important to consumers that they ignore ethical issues when making a purchase decision?

As reported by Emarketer, Mintel and Lightspeed GMI recently conducted a large study on this topic. Companies should pay attention to and behave appropriately with regard to the findings:

“Consumers might not reward a company they believe is ethical, but many are likely to punish a company they perceive to be unethical, according to a 2015 study. Mintel and Lightspeed GMI surveyed 2,000 U.S. adult Internet users. More than half of respondents said they stop buying products when they believe a company is unethical. Over one-third of Internet users said they would tell others and 26% of respondents would do neither of those things.”

 

Click the chart to read more about the ethics study.


 

When Is a “Sale” a Sale?

30 Nov

Unfortunately, many retailers misuse the term “sale”. And shoppers are often persuaded that a product is on sale even when it isn’t. [For our holiday shopping tips, please click here.]

As noted in Evans and Berman’s Marketing in the 21st Century: Price advertising guidelines have been set by the FTC and trade associations such as the Better Business Bureau. The FTC’s guidelines set standards of permissible conduct in these categories:

  • A firm may not claim or imply that a price has been reduced from a former level unless the original price was offered to the public on a regular basis during a reasonable, recent period of time.
  • A firm may not claim its price is lower than that of competitors or the manufacturer’s list price without verifying, via price comparisons involving large quantities of merchandise, that an item’s price at other companies in the same trading area is in fact higher.
  • A suggested list price or pre-marked price can’t be advertised as a reference point for a sale or a comparison with other items unless the advertised item has really been sold at that price.
  • Bargain offers (“free,” “buy one, get one free,” and “half-price sale”) are deemed deceptive if terms are not disclosed at the beginning of a sales presentation or in an ad, the stated regular price of an item is inflated to create an impression of savings, or the quality or quantity of a product is lessened without informing consumers. A firm cannot continuously advertise the same item as being on sale.
  • Bait-and-switch advertising is an illegal practice whereby customers are lured to a seller that advertises items at very low prices and then told the items are out of stock or of poor quality. Salespeople try to switch shoppers to more expensive substitutes, and there is no intent to sell advertised items. Signs of bait-and-switch are refusals to demonstrate sale items, the belittling of sale items, inadequate quantities of sale items on hand, refusals to take orders, demonstrations of defective items, and the use of compensation plans encouraging salespeople to use the tactic.

As Suzanne Kapner reported last week for the Wall Street Journal:

“Building complexity into product prices benefits retailers. It helps to cloud the transparency of online pricing, making it harder for shoppers to compare prices across chains. “’The more prices become convoluted, the less retailers will have to match lower prices offered by their rivals,’ said Simeon Siegel, an analyst with Nomura Holdings Inc.”

“And price has become a moving target. Amazon changed prices 666 times on 180 popular products sold from Nov. 1 through Nov. 19, according to Market Track, a price-tracking firm. That is a 51% increase in price volatility compared with similar products sold during the same period a year earlier. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s prices changed 631 times and Best Buy Co. ’s prices changed 263 times on similar products sold during the same period this year.”

Take a look at four deceptive practices highlighted by the Wall Street Journal. Click the image to see a larger view of the chart.

https://t.co/PyezbfRSkk


 

Do Retailers Offer What We Want During Holiday Shopping?

25 Nov

Predictions for the 2015 holiday shopping season are rather conservative, as a lot of consumers (both in the United States and globally) remain rather tight-fisted with their spending. Despite the improving economy, many people are not overly optimistic about the future.

As Retail TouchPoints notes, retailers will also share some responsibility if their holiday 2015 revenues fail to reach their expectations:

“Recent research indicates that the holidays bring significant mismatches between what consumers want and what retailers are able (or willing) to provide. Although 60% of consumers report that the availability of buy online/pick up in-store will affect where they shop — and an even higher percentage (72%) of consumers want to be able to buy online/return in-store — only 25% of retailers offer these services. And while two-thirds of consumers find online product recommendations helpful, a scant 16% of retailers expect a high ROI from this functionality.”

“See where retailers successfully play Santa, and where they fall into the role of Grinch, with this infographic from Listrak.”

 

 

What Do Americans Shoplift Most Often?

11 Nov

Shoplifting in retail stores accounts for billions and billions of dollars around the globe. In the United States alone, annual shoplifting losses amount to $13+ billion.

Take a look at this NEW  YouTube video from the Wall Street Journal to see what items are shoplifted most frequently in the United States.
 
 

 

Know More About Copyright Violations

24 Sep

As we have noted before, copyright violations on the Internet are a big deal (for example, see 1, 2, 3) — and abuses abound where one site uses the copyrighted material of other sites without permission.

Recently, Intella Blog published some excellent commentary and an infographic on this topic:

“Giving credit to photographers for their work sounds like a simple process, but it can get pretty messy. And since posting copyright-infringing content can lead to the removal of your post or blog − or worse − a lawsuit, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Considering bloggers are financially liable for posting copyrighted images even if it was an accident, the first step is to recognize the different copyright labels and understand the Fair Use Doctrine (which allows copyrighted works to be used without permission to benefit the public). Don’t worry if you’re confused about copyrights, we’ve got you covered. This infographic details exactly how to search for approved images and how to properly attribute them.”

 

Copyright Infringement: Images You Can and Can’t Share on Your Blog

 

Being Ethical in Marketing Research

18 Sep

To quote from our textbook (Marketing in the 21st Century): “In any marketing situation, ethical behavior based on honest and proper conduct (‘what is right’ and ‘what is wrong’) should be followed. This applies both to situations involving company actions that affect the general public, employees, channel members, stockholders, and/or competitors and to situations involving company dealings with consumers. For each ethically questionable issue, the person considers alternative actions, makes a decision, and acts accordingly. He or she then faces the consequences, which affect future decisions.”

Here is an interesting (and fun) video on the role of ethics when conducting research. Unfortunately, sometimes, research results are fudged because there is pressure to show a certain desired result.

 
 

 

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