WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T ENFORCE THE POLICIES YOU CREATED?

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What happens when you Don’t enforce the policies you created?

If you don’t enforce your own rules, people are going to break them!

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T ENFORCE THE POLICIES YOU CREATED?

So I was once at a seminar and I heard a gentleman say “you’ll either pay the price of discipline or the price of regret”. And you know I was looking and talking with a lot of different brands that we work with and realized that there’s a real price or a real cost of enforcement. And a lot of it comes down to the fact that if you don’t enforce your own rules, if you don’t enforce your own policies then people are flat-out going to break them.

A few weeks ago I found out that a branch of one of the banks that I use, a credit union,  they were robbed effectively. The guy who came in with the armored car picked up the money, he’s walking out and someone with a gun comes up and robs him. A bystander was standing by and runs up to them, an unarmed bystander I would add, and gets himself shot in the knee. Which I mean he’s alive but that does not sound like a fun thing. And you know right in the front of that bank it has a huge sign that says no guns allowed. And you know someone, I’m not gonna say who, but made a really bad joke saying “Oh well, that guy was probably running up just to tell the robber that hey there’s no guns allowed here.”  Well that sign, that policy does absolutely nothing! Can I tell you what that Bank did not have? What most banks don’t have anymore is an armed guard to enforce their policy.

 So you’ve got a bunch of people sitting in here trying to abide by a policy but it took one rule- breaker to come in and he wound up shooting the person transporting the money for the armored truck. So they both lived, they’re gonna be okay but unfortunately two people got shot in a place where no guns are allowed okay? And what I really took away from that, and I’m not going to turn this into some sort of political debate or anything else let’s close the door on that right now please, but what I took away from that is the fact that this bank did not enforce their own rules. They did not enforce their own policy, they did not pay the price of discipline or the price of actually enforcing their rules and protecting their branch. And therefore they had to pay the price of what happens when someone breaks their rules.

So what does this mean and what’s this got to do with anything with enforcing or protecting your brand on Amazon or any other marketplace? Because so many brands are now creating policies, map policies, online reseller policies and all these other policies and rules but they’re not effectively doing anything to abide by them. Posting and publishing these policies effectively does nothing for you if you’re not actually going to get into the trenches and do something to legitimately enforce it. The sign itself really means nothing and just to give you an example, I’m gonna wrap this one up with a joke, I actually read this one online:

There was a farmer out on his farm and a federal agent comes out and you know tells the farmer “Hey I need to get on this field” 

And the farmer’s like “you can’t go in that field.”  

Federal agent pulls out his badge and says “You see this badge? This badge says I can go anywhere I want to”.

Farmer says “Okay go in the field”

Next thing you know federal agent is screaming and running and a 2,000 pound bull is chasing him and the farmer shouts out “Your badge! Show him your badge!”

You know your badge says that you’re allowed to go wherever you want, well here’s the issue okay? People are like that bull, they don’t follow signs, they don’t follow policies okay? You have to be able to know that if you put a policy in place, you have to be prepared to defend it. And if you don’t defend your MAP policy, if you don’t defend your online reseller policies, if you don’t defend your trademark online, if you don’t protect your online sales channels, people are going to violate them. They’re going to ignore the sign, they’re going do what they want to do and a key point that I want to mention with that Bank story is that an innocent person that was not associated with that Bank was also hurt as a result. It’s not just your online sales channel that suffers, it’s not just your sales on that platform that suffer, it could potentially be your business to business customers, your retail partners that are carrying your products or your brand in their stores. It could be retail customers, just direct individuals that are purchasing product that wasn’t cared for properly that wind up being the ones being harmed.

So understand it’s not just about protecting your bottom-line and the reputation of your brand, it’s about protecting those that you’re supposed to be looking out for in the process. So I always recommend people, pay the price upfront, pay the price of discipline or you will pay the price of regret