27 years ago a sizeable earthquake hit my hometown and the destruction of some of the older buildings could have been prevented if the city fathers had been more into building codes rather than marketing facades. The 100-year-old buildings were given a facelift on the front to freshen up the look of downtown, rather than rebuilding the content. So when the earthquake came to town, the facades fell off, and the old buildings took a beating.
So what happens if a company operates the same way? What happens when the marketing department is forced to create an image of what management thinks they are capable of, rather than describe reality. Simple, they land up creating facades for everything.
One such company is on my radar because I am a recent customer through a merger. I’m very impressed with their marketing and positioning, but as I learn more about individuals compared to their online bios, and experience less than satisfactory service due to second string talent running various departments, I realize that not only have I been duped into believing a lie, but that the façade is falling off. What I thought was a great company is in reality not.
The only department that deserves an award at this point is marketing. Wow, they have created an illusion of competency that doesn’t exist. The company is not focused on employees or customers, but on their image and what they want people to believe exists.
Yet when the façade falls away, just like my hometown, all that will be left is the broken down structure. No one will shop there, and finding real talent to replace the second string management and operational staffs will be nearly impossible for their recruiters.
Customers can leave for the competition, and the smart employees will leave for better jobs. Or management could change now and take charge to make their facades less fake and a more permanent part of their culture. I’m taking bets on what happens next.