Sunday Shorts – Businesses Doing It Right Edition

Businesses doing things right

Anyone that reads this blog regularly, or knows me on Twitter/Facebook, would probably say I do my fair share of questioning (or criticizing, depending on your take).

It’s probably a fair statement – because we all should question and criticize when something seems off. Otherwise, we’ll live in a world of unicorns and pixie dust where no-one is held accountable. Meh to that!

Anyhoo… As much as there are people and companies doing things “wrong” (subjective to your thoughts), there are also companies, people and businesses doing things right.

Here are just three.

Whyte & Mackay

In my last post, I shared a great video on how Scottish whisky maker Whyte & Mackay are connecting with their customers through the power of empathy, storytelling and humour.

Following that, both Whyte & Mackay and Richard Paterson were on Twitter and showed why they’re winning over so many people online.

whyte and mackay tweetwhyte and mackay tweetRichard Paterson tweets

By reading the post itself, they knew that it was Phil Baumann that instigated it and made sure to thank him too, and not just the referring source.

By doing so, they immediately raised the “fan” level of both Phil and myself, along with a lot of others we’ve shared the story with.

Takeaway? The bigger picture isn’t always in front of you. Recognizing the various arms of a conversation makes you a far smarter business.

Canadian Pet Connection

I love the guys at Canadian Pet Connection in Oakville, Ontario (disclaimer – we’re friends). This is a successful father and son team who’ve built a great reputation in the area as a business doing things right.

When you visit their store, they’ll take the time to chat with you as a person and not just a customer. They’ll offer expert advice on how to look after your beloved pet, as well as recommend products that might mean you going to a competitor, because they love animals so much.

They take that offline experience online, where their blog shares advice on healthy pets, safety concerns and more.

Canadian Pet Connection blog

On Twitter, the son Brandon often looks for conversations of pet owners talking about their pet’s birthday, and offer to ship them a surprise birthday pack. Cool, right?

Takeaway: If your customer has an awesome experience with you offline, transfer that online and expand it to a wider audience. The results will speak for themselves.

Seth Godin

Earlier this week, marketer and author Seth Godin sent out an email to promote the release of Steve Pressfield’s new book, Turning Pro. All well and good – except when the pitch was used in reference to the death of Ray Bradbury.

At best, the tie-in was misplaced (citing the similar thinking of Pressfield and Bradbury) – at worst, it could have been seen as using someone’s name to shill a book.

Clearly others felt that way too.

Jim Connolly Seth GodinOlivier Blanchard Seth Godin

There were other updates across Facebook and Google+ that followed the line of thinking that the pitch was horribly misplaced. Something Seth clearly heard.

Seth Godin Ray Bradbury

Takeaway: We all make errors in judgement – that’s human. How we deal with these errors defines the perception people have of us. Seth showed that taking responsibility, not making any crap excuses and apologizing is the smarter thing to do.

These are just three examples of businesses and people doing things right – there are many more. The important thing is, we recognize them and the reasons why they’re the right and smart approach, and how that benefits the person or company in the long run.

Something we can all learn from, no?

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    • DannyBrown says

      @whyteandmackay You’re very welcome, love your approach. Weekend spent looking after sick son, got a nasty temperature/cough. :/

      • whyteandmackay says

        @dannybrown Our social media guy @craigmcgill knows all about that – he’s been nursing sick kids too – hope he gets well soon!

  1. the_nose says

    @DannyBrown Hope you are going to make it to my Sample Room one day and nose and taste one of the World’s most expensive Malt Whiskies!

  2. belllindsay says

    I was very impressed by Seth and his response. Classy guy, who isn’t afraid to issue a mea culpa. We’re not robots – we’re human – we all make mistakes and bad judgement calls and Seth is no different. I’ve never been a huge fan of his….until now. An all around win in my  humble opinion. 😉 

  3. rdopping says

    We are all human. Let’s not forget that, huh? Isn’t that why these are success stories? The world has such a hard time remembering that on a day to day basis. Thanks for pointing these guys out especially the Oakville boys who are in my hood. Bravo, my good man!
    So much hype on Pressfields book. How can I leave it out after War of Art and Do the Work?

    • says

       @rdopping Wait – you’re in Oakville and we haven’t had a beer yet? What the deuce?? :)
      Exactly, mate. Maddie Grant and jamienotter look at it in much more detail in their book Humanize:
      At the core of it, it’s such an easy thing to want to accomplish. The trick is, of course, actually accomplishing it – but the results speak for themselves.
      Cheers, mate!

      • rdopping says

         @DannyBrown  Maddie Grant  jamienotter Toronto actually. Close enough. You never know where folks are from in the big ole blogosphere. I will see you at Social Mix for sure but if you get thirsty in the interim drop me a line and I will oblige. Who in their right mind would turn down a beer?
        Thanks for the book reco. I will certainly put it on the list. Cheers to you!

        • says

           @rdopping  Maddie Grant  jamienotter Better still – I’m downtown Toronto with jugnoome – we should arrange a meet, there are great bars near us (Adelaide and York).

        • rdopping says

          @DannyBrown @Maddie Grant @jamienotter @jugnoome Anytime. I live & work downtown. Drop me a note on gmail and we’ll set something up.

  4. OpEdMarketing says

    I like when we recognize those who are doing it right, and ironically I shop for my basset hound at Canadian Pet Connection here in Oakville :)  Also, good to see that super-marketer Seth Godin is indeed fallible, but admitting err and knowing how to respond is all part of doing the right thing. Cheers!

  5. says

    What a fab post — thanks for highlighting how businesses can and do get it right. 
    I especially appreciated the point about how every one of us makes “errors in judgement” as this is very true indeed. Seems you really stepped up for Seth Godin by illustrating how he got it wrong but how he’s done his best to make it right. 

  6. says

    Great post Danny. The two things missing from most people especially in the social realm are ‘I was wrong I am sorry’ and ‘I know I don’t have all the answers or all the data’. I think Seth earned a lot of respect with his response.
    You know I am a cynical bastard on all things social when it comes to businesses and brands. When a brand does good they rarely get highlighted. When they do bad everyone jumps on them. Your two business highlights is something I wrote about recently. If you want to succeed in Social Media you have to truly put in the time. There are lots of fun and cool and slick things you can do, but they all take human time investment from real people. Facebook APPS are not human or participation would be much higher. Having a Twitter account and tweeting twice a day doesn’t give you a presence on that platform. And being realistic is important. While the Pet Connection probably only has a very small percent of customers on Twitter, they now have a way to talk directly with them. And there are plenty of pet owners who aren’t customers yet…who they can listen for them and draw them in like they have been doing.
    What is up with The Nose?

    • says

       @HowieSPM That’s one of my biggest pet peeves, mate, the “I don’t have all the answers so I will BS you” mentality. Just admit you’re not sure, but you’ll work together to find the answer.
      It’s not that hard, is it?

      • says

         @DannyBrown  @HowieSPM It isn’t that hard at all! I have an education background, and this same insecurity afflicts teachers- the inability to say “I don’t know- let’s find out together!”

  7. says

    Thanks for this Danny. Great to see follow up from The Nose.And thank you too for highlighting what Seth did.  I was extremely impressed that he spoke to this issue quickly and clearly, as befitting the brand he has created for himself. Look forward to meeting you at Social Mix!

    • says

       @RebeccaTodd Agreed, Rebecca – the original pitch seemed so out of whack compared to his normal stuff, and clearly he realized that. A lot of folks could learn from him.
      And yes, July should be awesome, looking forward to it, miss!

      • says

         @DannyBrown After I read Turning Pro, I understood Seth’s original note more.  Accountability is a huge thing for me though, and I love how he demonstrated that with his follow up note.

  8. says

    Very smart move on the part of The Nose and Whyte & Mackay. Strong video, good follow up and it all comes across in a very genuine fashion. I like it.

  9. says

    “The bigger picture isn’t always in front of you. Recognizing the various arms of a conversation makes you a far smarter business.”
    Nice one Danny and great examples.

  10. Rhysorwin says

    The sun must have been shining when you wrote this, there is no other explanation for a positive post like this! But in all seriousness, this has calmed the cynic in me, it’s great to see people doing it right.

    • says

       @Rhysorwin My son had just given me a hug for no reason, that led to this post. 😉
      Agreed, mate, I’m as guilty as anyone for calling out the bad, but there are plenty of good and great examples out there. It’s nice to balance the scales now and again.
      Cheers, mate!