Have you ever contacted a company only to get the runaround?
We do every day. The problem with our interactions is that they involve a little more than a faulty product, damaged good, or spoiled food. Those problems can be corrected on the spot.
Ours involve changing a mindset, a company culture and attitudes about parenting.
What we often experience is corpspeak and a serious case of talking a good talk, yet never really walking the walk. When we point out to companies their exclusion of fathers in advertising and marketing, we hear a response that lacks of clarity and offers tedium that never results in succinct answers or change. They’re generally vague on timing, which usually means there will be no change.
Check out the following responses we’ve received in the past month or so from four prominent brands.
“Thank you for reaching out to us. We believe that all parents and caregivers are capable of providing excellent care for their little ones. Consumer feedback is important to us and we take it very seriously. We have shared your comments with our marketing team.”
“Hi there! We love Dads too! They are mentioned on this sign as well. Just follow the asterisk! We understand, however, that their mention is not as noticeable and will share your feedback with our team!:”
“We value your feedback and we appreciate you reaching out to us. We will forward your feedback to our Leadership team for review. Thank you!”
“You are absolutely right. Thanks for catching a really old portion of our site that needs to be updated. Our team is working to make this correction because we love moms AND dads! It takes a village to raise a child, and we appreciate the reminder. Thanks for keeping us honest.”
Mott’s offered the most promising response, but even with that, not in any single instance did a representative make a promise or even correct the problem on the spot. Instead, the buck was passed and the complaint was temporarily pacified by ensuring us that our feedback was “valued.”
Companies love to talk about exceptional customer service, but few really back it up.
At the same time, we’ve successfully lobbied other major brands to make changes – and they did. We’ve influenced the likes of Kix, Jif, Cheerios, Pampers, Huggies, Luvs and the New York Times. It worked by simple, old-fashioned persistence.
If you’re a parent who cares about inclusion and equality, our suggestion is to remain persistent and enlist other like-minded parents to help with the cause.
Many consumers win their battles, and there’s a good chance you will, too.