Earlier this week I unsubscribed from an email newsletter. I am continually subscribing to new newsletters, it’s an occupational hazard for all of us who spend much of our time on the Internet. To counter this I have a purge every 6 weeks or so and trim my list down to between 6 and 10 that I find really good.
Between purges, I unsubscribe from others if I no longer find them of value. But this one was different, I stopped it because the author wished me Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Is this a childish reaction from an old W.A.S.P?
I think not, I think by trying to be all things to all people, many marketers are now following hordes of politicians down the slippery slope of appeasement. I wrote about political correctness in a post on 24 November.
The Happy Holiday thing seems to be much more prevalent this year and it also seems to be irritating more people than before and not just us baby boomers either.
I am not particularly religious, I do not go to church very often, but Christmas has been part of the North American culture for a long time. I believe that we should celebrate Christmas openly and proudly. I respect others religious choices and have no problem with them celebrating their own special days.
However, if it was not for the range of diversity that our culture does already tolerate, many of those of other faiths would not be here to enjoy a year end holiday under any name. Many, including myself, would have very limited freedom in their original countries compared to the opportunities enjoyed here.
Sure there are things here that I find strange and unpleasant compared to what I enjoyed in my previous country before it went bad. Here I have a vote, therefore a voice to try and change things, if I still don’t like it, there is a simple solution – buy a plane ticket and leave.
So for me, I will excuse a marketer a number of mistakes and errors, if I believe they are trying to provide value. But as soon as one of my core values is compromised (in this case patriotism, honour, duty, commitment etc.) that’s it, I lose interest and the marketer has lost a potential customer.
By trying to be all things to all people, and not just on this issue, it is very easy to end up losing more than you gain.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful 2011