• May 1, 2008
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

CRM World News, Part III

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Memo from the desk of Marshall Lager, May’s Chief Old-Concept-Rehashing Officer:

Did the wax tadpole teach them nothing?
Reuters recently reported that a Chinese maker of stuffed buns is changing the product's name so that its English translation will not cause confusion. Goubuli-brand steamed-meat-and-vegetable buns are so popular in the region that there are knockoff brands selling under the same name. The word, supposedly a derivative of the original maker's nickname, translates as "A dog would ignore it." In an effort to keep foreigners from making unwelcome inferences about product quality or contents, Tianjin Goubuli Group Corp. is opting for a name that "highlights the honesty of the company." The new name? "Go Believe."
Oh yeah, we believe.

Wow, somebody's one helluva salesperson
The 20 police dogs patrolling the mean streets of Düsseldorf, Germany, no longer need fear dirty paws, according to the AP. Beginning this spring, the canine cops will sport adorable blue plastic-fiber booties. Police spokespeople claimed the footwear was a matter of protection, not fashion -- paw injuries from broken glass are common in parts of the city -- but the color was chosen to match officers' uniforms. The dogs are currently being trained to walk in the shoes.
The report was unclear whether there would be pumps for daytime wear and heels for evening.

Like putting lipstick on a McRib
A California McDonald's dropped its yellow-and-red décor for a feng shui--dictated set-up of water features, bamboo, and earth tones, the AP says. Despite being a franchisee for a chain that serves nearly identical food in all of its U.S. locations, one owner was quoted as saying, "We can't look too cookie-cutter." The soothing designs are intended to encourage diners to linger over their burgers. This from a chain that often posts "No loitering: 20-minute time limit on food consumption" signs. The designer said the set-up would help promote "life and relaxation -- the balanced things that you want in your life."
Ooh, sounds like a cure for high blood pressure to me!

Giving consumers what they want need deserve
In a widely reported display of ego trumping wisdom, somebody has dusted off Ralph Nader for another run at the presidency of the United States. Despite displaying almost total unelectability during each of his previous campaigns, Nader is once again convinced of his relevance to the voting public, even the ones who weren't recently poisoned by lead-based paint from China. The consumer advocate's lifetime dedication to product safety and business accountability is certain to make up for his total lack of experience in any facet of government, as evidenced by this leaked campaign slogan: "Foreign policy -- unsafe at any speed."
Leadership isn't something that only happens in leap years.

Contact Senior Editor Marshall Lager at mlager@destinationCRM.com if you think you can handle it.

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