Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis

To strive towards the highest and even most noble code of conduct is not only a matter of personal conviction but also makes for sound business sense.

Neither is there anything wrong with the double-edge sword nature of that statement. The fact that the carrot can lead the horse does not nullify the end-value of the rule.

Semper Fi

That living up to a code of conduct is not equal to being a “walk over me” goody-two shoes is nowhere proven better than in the US Marine Corps. “Always faithful” is their motto. It is known throughout the world, far beyond the borders of the USA.

One of the reasons that it has gained that fame is not because it is such a catchy phrase, “Semper Fidelis”, but the fact that for the most part, most US marines do not experience this as merely a code of conduct but a code of honor: a keen sense of ethical conduct; integrity; one’s word given as a guarantee of performance.

It is this strive towards excellence that sets these men and women apart.

Does your business set itself apart by its ethical conduct? Its guarantee of performance?

Trust me; all other politicians are liars

Negative promotion comes from undermining the conduct or abilities of your competitors. In the worst case by naming them explicitly.

The most profound examples of this type of profiling can be found in the political realm where candidates viciously attack each other through the medium of advertisement.

University research throughout the 1990’s has shown that negative races receive a significantly lower turnout.

Do you want to play towards a larger or smaller market?

Research indicates younger and poorer voters are more receptive towards this type of advertisement.

Do you want to play towards a poorer or wealthier market?

Finally, research analysis suggests that people do remember the negative message (goal achieved) but bestow an equal level of negativity on the originator of the ad.

Do you want to be associated with a negative message?

Comparative Advertisement

Virtually any advertisement is implied comparative advertisement where your brand, product or service comes out best.

Real comparative advertisement explicitly compares these brands, products or services from an “objective” standpoint. It differs from negative advertisement in that there is no direct attack on the other person or business.

Comparative advertisement has proven to be superior in brand positioning. On a product or service level they mainly strengthen the existing brand and its known attributes.

Branding through conduct

The manner in which you uphold your business is so important that on an industry scale trade associations have setup codes of conduct in order to prevent tarnishing of the good name of either the industry or its trade association(s).

If you ask me, your business code of conduct should be a matter of honor, just as it is for the US Marine Corps. “Always faithful”.

This means that whether you have a Non-Disclosure Agreement or not, to never publicize identifiable information relating to your current or past clients. To not publicly slander the name of another person or company involved now or in the past with your clients. To hold true to the spirit of your agreement and not to the letter. To deliver on your word where reasonable and applicable.

If part of your personal and business branding is trust and honor you still may not succeed as a business. But it is virtually guaranteed that if it is not, you reduce your social and business network to almost zero. Every prospect will be like your first struggle to land a conversion, simply because you have nothing to show for, no-one to refer to.

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