Bentley College Marketing- Honors

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Review of "REAL Motivation Posters" from Creating Passionate Users

Kathy Sierra’s post “REAL Motivation Posters” talks about the cheesy motivational posters that hang in almost every business with slogans like “Customers are always right,” and “Employees are our greatest asset.” She claims that posters like this are so overdone and fake that they have absolutely no effect on employees. In fact, when posters were altered by impromptu post-it corrections, people did not even seem to notice a difference, or cared so little that they did not remove the faulty post-it notes.
This story is about marketing because it is about the marketing of motivation. The question is how does a company move its citizens to care for the company and their customers without sickening and irritating them? Kathy Sierra advocates the elimination of such clichéd posters because they so often do not match the company’s real agenda or approach. She cites the example of an employee at a hotel who let a customer use the copier behind the employee counter because the other one was going too slow and he was going to be late to his business meeting. The manager then yelled at the employee in front of the customer for several minutes, even though there was a sign behind the counter that read “The customer is why we’re here.” As a result Kathy then took popular posters with very cheesy phrases and rewrote them with the real messages the companies seemed to be promoting. (Ex. one of them was of Bill Gates with a line that read “The customer is always right” and rewrote it to say “The customer is wrong, lazy, dishonest and stupid. But maybe it’s because we treat them that way… Let’s be nicer in 2006.”)The only thing that this article did wrong was to treat the situation too negatively. Kathy mentioned all the things that these posters do wrong and how the employees and customers are really treated, but she did not offer a solution. What helped me understand the problem better were the comments that were left by upwards of 28 different people. These people suggested that companies take a more realistic stance and set-up posters that mean something personal, are inside-type experiences, or are funny. One woman said that she made a poster for her company that read “Be nice or leave.” By voicing these, the commenter showed that the goal of the original posters (employee unity, motivation, an improved work environment, etc.) could still be achieve but without the overused clichés. It might have helped more, if Kathy had been able to cite a source for better more real posters, which would have provided an example of what she was advocating… and yet the fact that she didn’t, that she couldn’t find one, reinforced her point.


Go here for the full article

FYI.... Today's vegetarian soup choice in LaCava: Apple Bisque

2 Comments:

Blogger Urban Agrarian said...

Hi,
I don't know if you want comments from people outside the class, although I am part of the Bentley community. I won't feel insulted if you delete this comment.

I wonder if the author of the original post did not suggest better motivational posters, because she feels that for the most part, posters are not a good way to motivate. I think I would feel insulted if my employer started putting up "motivational" posters. The message that I might take away from these posters is that I'm not smart enough to figure out that customers are important or that team work is a good thing.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 9:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

learning books for your home library collection.

Monday, February 27, 2006 7:48:00 PM  

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