We build businesses. Even little ones.

We build businesses.
Even little ones.

It Only Doesn’t Matter When It Doesn’t Matter

Best Buy apparently has extended their Boxing Day sale.

(For those in the US not familiar with this, Boxing Day is the day after Christmas Day. In the olden days servants and tradesman would receive gifts from their employers, known as a “Christmas Box.” Thank you, Wikipedia.)

Anyway, Best Buy has extended their Boxing Day sale. I was picking up some mail and, seeing the familiar flyers around, had to stop for a moment.

At the time of this writing, it is not December 26th.

It is JANUARY NINTH.

In Canada we have a lot of Boxing Day sales. Best Buy decided to take it further and turn it into Boxing Week. You can’t fault them for that. A lot of people come into money over the holidays, and to the sellers go the spoils.

However.

“Boxing Week” should have been over, say a week and a half ago.

Go to BestBuy.ca on January 9th, and you’ll see a big banner saying “Boxing Week Sale EXTENDED!” Given that Boxing Week is over, and the week after THAT is over, and the sale is still going on this week, it’s pretty “extended” indeed.

They can do this. You cannot.

Best Buy can do this kind of thing, and no one complains. Bricks and mortar stores can generally do this, too, and everyone is cool. Catalog retail? Bring it on.

Everyone loves a deal, and if big business wants to keep the discounts rolling, the public is more than happy to have them do it.

But if you are a very small business – particularly a business based around your name or your personality – you cannot do this.

If a personality brand – and it’s a personality brand if the emails they send have a person’s name in the sender field – does something like this, they LIED to you and they probably planned to do this all along.

They lied to you to get your money.

They lied to you to convince you there was a REAL deadline that they personally stood behind.

They took your trust, and they took your emotions, and decided that the bottom line was more important.

If Best Buy does this, people don’t care. Best Buy is not a person. Big corporations will always do this, because customers do not have emotional investment and personal trust involved.

If Best Buy does this, people don’t feel betrayed. They feel like they lucked out, and they don’t expect a corporation to really care about promised deadlines in the first place.

If (insert name) does this, however, people do feel betrayed. They had an actual deadline from an actual person.

They are likely to feel like the seller is making a greedy cash grab, because the promotion might have gone really well.

They are likely to remember how pressured they felt to make a buying decision on Deadline Day, and how all that inflicted stress was only smoke and mirrors.

Conversely, the more marketing savvy might think the promotion didn’t go well, and the seller is making a desperate, frantic attempt to not go broke.

Either way, it’s not good for (insert name) in the eyes of their audience.

Don’t be (insert name).

We will forgive – and even encourage – in corporations what we would never tolerate from human beings.

Remember this when You Know Who extends the deadline for their Platinum Mastery Mastermind Inner Circle of Winners and you are tempted to think “Well, they can do it, so it’s ok, right?”

It’s not ok. It’s suicide.