Cameron, Tesco and Underestimating Savvy Stakeholders

Are you underestimating the intelligence and knowledge of your stakeholders?

There’s this lovely naive purity that many marketers and communicators still actually believe that if they deliver a message then people will take it at face value.

David Cameron and the Panama Papers

I’m just watching news about the fallout from The Panama Papers revelations about tax avoidance, and – specifically – the revelation that many leaders have been squirreling away cash in offshore investments whilst themselves legislating against tax avoiders in their countries.

Over three days of media questioning, our own British Prime Minister David Cameron has adjusted his own story from not having any investments – to conceding he did have investments but he has paid all the appropriate tax due. It’s probably true.

However, he (or perhaps his advisors) assumed that the British public would take his initial denial of investments at face value. He used the tactic to avoid being dragged into a damaging Panama Papers conversation.

But his weaseling around the issue has become an even bigger story. It is perceived as a lack of transparency that damages influence. If he’d been straight from the start it would’ve been avoidable.

Tesco Own Brands

Here is a tweet.

Woodside Farms is a brand chosen by Tesco to specifically mask us from their meat production reality – whatever the reality might be.  Close your eyes and use those two words – Woodside Farm – to imagine what Tesco meat production might look like.

Stone built situated in rolling British countryside? Perhaps a babbling brook at one end of the top field? A farm dog playfully chasing chickens as they hide under an old tractor in the yard?

So, probably not much like this image in the Guardian?


Guardian Meat

The probable truth is that neither image truly represents the reality of supermarket meat production. But stakeholders will pursue the truth to help us make informed decisions about who we should know, like and trust.  Until we get the truth we will devise our own personal version of it.

And that’s a version David Cameron and Tesco have less control over than they obviously believe!

As consumers, we’ve all been around the block when it comes to branding tricks, buy one get one frees and other inducements.

Before we allow ourselves to be persuaded, we’ll seek out the transparent authentic truth, and base our opinions on both our perceptions and personal experiences.

As savvy stakeholders we know that:

  • Politicians still hide bad news on days when there’s a global crisis of some sort.
  • A ‘No obligation free consultation’ is designed to make us feel obliged to spend money.
  • A free month with credit card sign up is offered as a trick not least because a percentage of customers will forget to cancel after the free month.
  • The furniture sale that ‘Absolutely Must End Sunday’ will be replaced by another sale in a matter of days.

We know! We know!!

Richard Glynn will help you stand out, build influence and become easier to buy from.
Click here to find out more.
%d bloggers like this: