Friday, May 23, 2008

"Stigmas breed self-censorship"

Stigma should be reserved for people who violate community standards, like people who willfully park in handicap spots. It shouldn't be used as a too-cute-by-half way to peddle some dumb new product.

This is why we need one more stigma: a Ring Around the Collar for badly behaved marketers. Then the vast majority of people responsible for selling products wouldn't use tactics like these. It's time for the marketing community itself to be the first to turn up its nose at people who shamelessly use these techniques to sell creams and detergents and credit cards.

Chip and Dan Heath weigh in on marketing tactics that create stigmas in the June issue of FastCompany Magazine. You can read their full column here.

My short form book review of Made to Stick can be found here.

What stigmas created by marketing turn you off?