In the spirit of past heretics, ranters and agitators, our resident angry outsider Claxton tells you what’s getting his goat about this industry.
You walk into a cafe and the coffee is free, and you can share it with your friends. Next time you go in they turn the coffee green, but it’s still free. Next time, they hide the sugar. Finally, they say, you can have as much of our coffee as you like, but you have to pay to share it with your friends, and you have to share it by using a straw poked up your arse, so most of your mates won’t have any. Nearly all of your friends are still there though, with their trousers round their ankles. At what point do you start looking for another coffee shop?
Speaking for all small businesspeople everywhere, I have wasted a truck load of time and money collecting the names of hundreds of random losers on Facebook, as well as maybe a few dozen zombies who either don’t exist, don’t speak the language I post in or are only interested in blurred pictures of themselves in the bathroom. It is the marketing equivalent of walking up and down Queen Street with a sandwich board, except that Mark Zuckerberg covers the board with pirate hats and kittens and won’t take them off unless I pay him ever-increasing amounts of money. Facebook’s offer is getting worse while the price increases. I may run my business like that, but I don’t expect either of us to get away with it forever.
- This story originally appeared in the July/August version on NZ Marketing.