I have not been updating the blog lately because I have been working on a complete redesign for my website, as mentioned in the last post.
There has been some very interesting news in the world of marketing and business in general over the past week. And no, I’m not talking about the Dow hitting 13,000. Lou Dobbs did a great piece on the pet food scare and how this can happen to the human supply chain as well. It is now known that the tainted ingredient in question came from
China and the substance used, helps to give a false reading on protein content to make it appear higher. Of course with higher content reading, they can sell more without having to actually put more in. The end result has been the deaths of countless animals and untold more suffering and playing Russian roulette every time you go to the supermarket to get pet food.
The fact that the product came from China, doesn’t surprise me, for Americans, this practice may be shocking but for anyone familiar with Chinese business practices, you certainly wouldn’t be as shocked as the average Canadian or American was. As Lou Dobbs pointed out, the Chinese control over 80% of the vitamin C market in the
US, raising prices in the process 5 fold and with no quality checks.
If I were an executive using food ingredients from
China, I’d be sweating bullets right now wondering if my company will be the next one with its name all over the news with pet or people dying because of a Chinese company seeking profits at our health or lives as the expense.
This is the dark side of globalization few will even mention. Yes the news talks about all the great things it brings, but there are risks. We still have the same rules of reality in play as we did before globalization; everything has a risk element, especially something that is essentially a fail theory that has proven so for 10 years. Don’t believe me, go back to the 70’s and read the original idea of globalization, lower taxes, lower debt, better jobs, more quality time for the average worker were all promises. Not one promise has been met, so it has failed and now your health is at risk too.
As a pet owner, I’m appalled at the way our system for pet food works. As a business person I’m frankly disgusted that the ducks are lining up to show that corporate greed is most likely the real cause of this issue unfolding. As a consumer, it makes me even more wary about the promises that everything will be ok with globalization, this is proving we should slow down and do better management.
This all relates to marketing because marketing is really the link between the promise you make and the way in which you deliver it to the customers. In the pet food situation, everyone failed, it’s a classic example in which no one kept their promise and just hoped nobody figured it out. Well, we did, and I will not be surprised when lawsuits are brought up. This is a shameful event for business as a whole because this does highlight what many companies do. It may not mean the life of an animal, but I can tell you, I won’t even touch a MenuFoods product now. I saw the conferences, heard the time line and there is no way they did enough to gain my trust back. And I’m not alone.
Think about your company and if it were you, are you keeping your brand promise on all levels? Chances are there is a broken chain somewhere, fix it before you become the next MenuFoods. They have lost half their stock value and are underperforming the S&P by over 40%. I’m still waiting for the sales figures, but my guess is, it’s just as bad.