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Is it Easier to Apologize Than Ask for Permission?

Full disclosure, I am re-running my column from this time last year which posed the question “Is it easier to apologize than ask for permission?”

nancy mendelson

At the time I wrote it, I was feeling betrayed by Trader Joe’s for having discontinued a beloved product – a staple in our home for easily 10 years--with no heads-up, and I was pissed!

When you read the column, you will learn that I was truly impressed by how they handled the situation and told them so. Hell, they better be masters at dealing with disgruntled shoppers, since they regularly discontinue customer favorites. There’s even a Facebook Group called Trader Joe’s Discontinued :( with thousands of members. At the time, I figured it was just part of their business model so get used to it because I love that brand!!!

It was only recently, however, that I realized ever since “the polenta incident” as my husband and I refer to it, that I shop at Trader Joe’s much less frequently than before. That sense of loyalty I once felt…well, it’s gone. I used to go at least every two weeks…and now, maybe once every few months. The thrill is gone!!

In the words of advertising legend Phil Dusenberry, “A brand is nothing but an expression of the consumer’s loyalty and trust”… something all brands should take seriously!


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