Remember Detroit. When the Motor City’s auto executives were called before Congress to testify about their companies’ sorry financial condition and their need for a federal bailout, two arrived by chartered jet. The CEO of Ford drove to the hearings...in a Ford Escape Hybrid.
The fliers were excoriated for their excess (though as part of an industry considered “too big to fail,” they were rescued). Ford didn’t ask for a dime. They were solvent throughout the worst downturn in decades.
Make Sure the Subtleties Are Obvious
Americans don’t often respond to subtlety, but they understood the implications of that situation. If the CEO put his personal trust in the products he made and the company was succeeding, it was a brand that consumers could rely on.
On the flip side are the companies who, metaphorically, make shoes that aren’t worn by their employees. For example, there’s the firm I worked with that developed monitoring software for mainframe computers. Their application could detect emerging problems and automatically trigger actions to correct them. Yet when, after the third system interruption in a single day, I called the head of the data center, he – sheepishly – admitted that, despite making the top-ranked monitoring tool in the industry, they didn’t use it themselves.
We don't make things irresistible in a vacuum. We follow the same advice that we give to our clients.