Walk the Line

Walk the Line – A great name for a movie and title for a blog about ethics. We have discussed privacy and transparency / trust. I now move us into the ethics zone.

I am doing some consulting with another firm and we were asked to do some work that really crossed that line of good taste and ethics.  It made me stop and think. How far will I go for work? Where do I draw that line?

We have all been presented with dilemmas like these before. I had this conflict when I was deciding whether or not to launch Kama Sutra travel kits and massage oil sets for FTD.com (a similar product is still for sale today). When I was selling this into senior management, I stressed that we knew “romance and sex” sell.  Drugstore.com was selling vibrators, why couldn’t we sell massage oils?   We went forward with selling the Kama Sutra products and they became a big seller in non floral gifts.  We felt this product line was about as close we could get to that line without crossing it.

So it sells and it was a border line ethical decision. What is my point? My point is that when we made that decision – we should have considered 2 things.

1. Was there demand for those products.

2. Will we alienate or drive away our existing customer base.  What would our customers want us to sell?  How many of them would we lose in an effort to gain new customers?  Will it enhance or disparage the brand and our reputation?

The answer is the same as it will be for many of the things we discuss in this blog.  Keep your eye on the prize – maintaining the relationship and trust you have with your customers.

What will I do about this client?  Stay tuned….

(Want to learn more about your company’s reputation.  Contact me about a  free trial of Social Media Monitoring.)

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