May 2013

So, as I’m sure you’ve heard, last week an interview with the CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch from 2006 reared its ugly head, (as most displays of public embarrassment usually do) and caused a bit of a stir.

If you can’t be bothered reading the full car crash of an interview itself, (I don’t blame you, it’s very much like that episode of Extras where he accidentally insults the boy with down-syndrome; you can’t bear to watch but you can’t seem to look away) or read this summary, the basic premise is Mike Jeffries informing us that anyone over a (US) size 10 isn’t ‘cool’ enough to shop in his stores.

So in honour of dear Mr. Jeffries who, bless his heart, is looking out for ‘cool and popular kids’ everywhere by insuring that they don’t have to witness anyone larger or less ‘cool’ than themselves wearing a similar t-shirt, I’ve taken a quick look at three more ways you can ruin your business – as tried and tested by CEO’s across the globe…

how-to-ruin-your-business

Be sure to let people know how good your product is:

Gerald Ratner, owner and CEO of Ratner’s Jewellers famously wiped £500 million from the value of his company in 1991 by saying “people say, ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’ I say, because it’s total crap.”

He then went on to tell reporters that Ratner’s earrings were “cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long”.

Insure your customers feel like they’re getting their money’s worth:

Not only did the former Newcastle United directors, Freddie Shepherd and Douglas Hall charm their female fans by referring to them as “dogs” they also let slip that club shirts that were being sold for £50 cost less than £5 to make.

Compliment your customers:

In 2001 David Shepard, the brand director for Topman, clarified the target market of the chain’s clothing as; “Hooligans or whatever.” He continued to dig his own grave by saying; “very few of our customers have to wear suits for work. They’ll be for his first interview or first court case.”

So, moral of the story; just because you own a company doesn’t mean you should be allowed to hold a conversation without supervision.

Until next time… x

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