Although The Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Chrysler have had some positive publicity lately they are still reeling from the bad reputation they earned in the 1970s. The problem is that they allowed the media to convince the public they were out of touch with the consumer and unable to “make what people want”.
The problem with the negative commentary is an age-old problem in the business world. Any company that cannot overcome an incorrect or unfavorable public perception will experience problems at the bank.
In the 1990s Kmart, was perceived to have higher diaper prices than Toys "R" Us. This may seem trite, but the diaper customer went where the prices were perceived to be lowest. Once at the low-price leader the diaper customer would spend more money as the diaper leader would get the clothing and toy purchases also.
Survey after survey showed the consumer perception was that Kmart prices were $1 to $2 higher per package for this item purchased weekly by most mothers. The reality was the Kmart prices were actually a few cents less per package from those of the toy giant.
Kmart made no attempt to change that perception so lost a significant amount of diaper business along with the toy, clothing, and baby furniture sales that occurred in the same market basket. The misguided consumer perception cost Kmart hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.
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See the attached list for some great buwiness development best-sellers.
Additional Diversity Resources
- Culture Bridges are a look at the contents of the character within each of us. Information is contained on more than 20 different categories of culture.
- Cultural Faux Pas is an interesting quiz about marketing mistakes made by others.
- Culture Quizzes allow you to test your cultural IQ with fun and informative quizzes.
Diversity by the numbers
- Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
- 35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say That Widen the Diversity Gap.
- 50 Activities for Promoting Communication and Understanding at Work: The Diversity Training Activity Book
Other articles and white papers of interest: