Earlier this month, when Chick-fil-A’s CEO, Dan Cathy, openly spoke against same sex marriage in a radio interview, many people questioned whether or not Cathy’s outspokenness was a smart move … but Cathy might not be as dumb as opponents may think.
In fact, this might have been one of the smartest marketing moves of the year.
Whether or not you support same-sex marriage, that’s not why it was smart (in fact, I’d rather government completely butt-out of this debate, stop wasting tax payers money and leave the choice of whether or not to allow same-sex marriage to the religions and institutions that have a philosophical stance … but that’s another story.).
All too often, companies try to stay away from taking a bold stance, choosing to play it safe by communicating a message that will appeal to the masses. The problem with this approach is that it doesn’t make you unique, stand-out or give your customers something interesting to talk about.
And what happens?
You end up blending into a sea of ‘me-too’ competitors. Nothing exciting. Completely vanilla.
But, you see, Chick-fil-A is known for its foundation as deeply rooted in Christianity and biblical principles and, when Cathy was asked about his opinion, he wasn’t shy in offering it.
Staying true to its core foundation, Cathy’s announcement caused both controversy from those who oppose this stance and raving endorsements from those who share his view.
Over the course of the last couple weeks, Chick-fil-A has been the beneficiary of tens of millions of dollars in free publicity and the subject of a common household debate. Even while Chick-fil-A has been openly condemned for the CEOs stance – the raving support appears to have breathed new life in an almost forgotten company…
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee reported to Newsmax on Tuesday, July 31 that more than 20 million people have viewed Huckabee’s Chick-fil-A support event on Facebook and more than 500,000 people are claiming to show their support for the chain by eating at the restaurant.
There are lessons in Cathy’s announcement every business owner should consider for creating a better marketing advantage for their business. They are:
- People respect people who take a stance on what they believe in. Know what’s important to the ideal customer and help this customer get more of what they want (even if this means being provocative).
- Don’t try to speak to the masses and appeal to everyone. Narrowing the target market and speaking to a particular segment of people will encourage further support, loyalty and a deeper relationship with the company.
- Make your stance known. If Cathy kept his announcement quiet, he wouldn’t have received as much publicity and attention.
History has shown that controversy has, in fact, contributed to the success of many leaders.
Such examples include Howard Stern and his outspoken media personality, Richard Branson and his willingness to break the rules, Donald Trump and his love for money and fame, Mark Cuban and his no-holds-barred approach to business, Bill Gates and his ruthless commitment to grow Microsoft, Rupert Murdoch and his outward republican stance founded inside of Fox News and Jack Welch who notoriously put pressure on employees to perform.
Know your ideal customer. Be Bold and prosper.
P.S. Chick-fil-A benefited from millions of dollars of publicity … and you could too (even if you’re not as provocative as Cathy). In fact, this is just one of the many topics we cover with our Insiders’ Club Members … and, the only place to get this information is to become an Insider. Join Today.
About Charlie GaudetCharlie specializes in achieving extraordinary growth for entrepreneurs and small business owners. He's often referred to as "The Marketing Champion" by both his clients and Insiders' for his ability to help them out-compete, out-market and out-earn much of their competition. Charlie's often controversial and unique approach to predictable profits is focused on giving you the ultimate edge.
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@charlesgaudet That Warren guy sure does seem to know a thing or two about success.
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With a customer philosophy like this, it's no wonder why Warren Buffett is one of the richest men on the planet -> http://t.co/ni6DLjASfv
Enjoying my (sleeping) princess just minutes before I get back to crank'n! http://t.co/1K1kW1t2S9
“@MarkHeartofBiz: The majority of ‘urgent deadlines’ are not as necessarily urgent as one might think.”
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