Is Your Business Worth a Loaf of Bread?

Is your business worth 50 cents?Last week, while shopping for groceries, I went into the bakery section and was pleased to see baguettes. The prospect of a nice sandwich for lunch and some garlic bread with dinner was just too enticing, so I bought one–baked fresh (so the label said).

I got home, pulled out my bread knife and… watched the bread crumble into small, crunchy little bits. It was beyond “day-old”, it was completely dried out((Not a complete loss for me, a little work with mortar and pestal while watching TV, and I topped off my supply of bread crumbs.))

It cost me all of 50¢, so the money isn’t an issue. But this is a blog about public relations, not finance.

It obvious that the bread wasn’t baked that day. It was, at most, a 50¢ loss for the store. So… why lie? This is the classic PR mistake: “Penny wise, pound foolish”.

This store has lost my trust. If they’re willing to lie for 50¢ worth of bread, how can I trust them with $20 worth of meat? I can’t. The store lost a customer–and took a blow to their reputation–over 50¢ worth of day-old bread.

When you’re dealing with your customers are you selling “day old bread”? Are you trying to get away with things? Are you lying to them and hoping they don’t notice?

I’ll let you in on a little secret: they notice. They might not call you on it, but they notice. And they remember. And they talk about it.

If you value your customers–and your business–throw away the “old bread”. Or… make croutons and panko breading.

Note:  This post was edited to fix typos.

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Since 2011, Blaze has worked in China as an English-language consultant with top companies from Germany, France, Italy, and the U.S. He has over 25 years of experience in education, communication, and marketing.

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