Being Politically Correct Can Cost You

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I was informed yesterday that one of the major shopping outlets this year would stop greeting customers as they walk into their store with the politically correct phrase, “Happy Holidays.” Instead, they have instructed their employees to use the politically incorrect phrase of, “Merry Christmas.”

It seems that every business in the USA has changed their language around this time of the year to be inoffensive to the public by referring to the season as the holidays. We have Holiday parties instead of Christmas parties, we send out Holiday greeting cards instead of Christmas cards, and so on.

I appreciate the bold move by this major shopping outlet. Yes, they will probably get their share of criticism, but they made this move based upon a very basic business principal, market research. Through their research they determined that the consumer, on average, spends more money in their store when they are greeted with the phrase, “Merry Christmas” than they do with the generic, “Happy Holidays.”

Is it wrong for a business to remember why they are in business and to act accordingly? I think not. Every business, including yours, has the obligation to earn as much as possible for their stakeholders. The success of your business creates jobs, strengthens the economy, reduces government subsidies, and makes children happy (Merry Christmas!).

We can learn a very important business lesson here. Following the crowd may seem to be the right thing to do, but don’t fail to validate the results through quality market research. Don’t waste money or lose money because of your failure to measure results.

To everyone out there, have a Merry Christmas!!

To Your Success –

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Rick Stephens is a recognized business advisor and consultant. He specializes in working with small to mid-sized business owners to strengthen their business processes and ultimately grow their business. Rick has been accredited by the Institute for Independent Business, an International accrediting body for senior executives.

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