Is Your Business “So Mean”?

Towards the top of the music charts is Matchbox Twenty’s SHE’S SO MEAN.  The song makes me laugh as it recounts a hapless guy that likes a girl who is continually mean to him.  It also makes me feel sorry for the guy.

As I pondered the lyrics I thought about how many brands and businesses in the past, have treated me or my friends/family “so mean”.  Often, we feel powerless as we struggle to enjoy products and services that have no attachment to us as customers.


Sayin’ yeah, and you want her
But she’s so mean
(You’ll never let her go, why don’t you let her go?)
Yeah, and you want her
But she’s so mean
(You’ll never let her go, why don’t you let her go?)


Last Spring I had to cancel my Sprint service. When we lived in South Dakota, I LOVED Sprint. I always had reception where we were living and I had unlimited data. What’s not to love?

When we moved to Michigan I had no service and couldn’t make a call without dropping it. I knew it was time to say goodbye. After multiple phone calls where I was assured there would be no termination fee (after all, we had moved out of their coverage area) and many threatening bills, they ended up tricking us into paying a termination fee. How did they do that? They told us it was a “remaining balance”. So we paid it. And then received a confirmation that it was, indeed, a termination fee. Ugh! THEY’RE SO MEAN!


Every now and then she makes you just a little bit crazy
She’ll turn the knife into your back and then she’s calling you ‘baby’


There’s a restaurant in town that we like to frequent when we’re sans-children. It has a quaint atmosphere and tons of potential. Though, the last few times we’ve been there, the food has been sub-par, the menu uninspiring and the wait-staff is so-so. Yet, we keep going back. I think it’s primarily because we KNOW there is a ton of potential in that place. And we HOPE this time will be better. And then it isn’t. THEY’RE SO MEAN!


She’ll make you take her to the club, but then she leaves with her friends
She likes to stay late at the party cause the fun never ends
And all her clothes are on the floor, and all your records are scratched
She’s like a one-way ticket cause you can’t come back


Our car is in the shop. This is the 3rd week we’ve been without it. It’s not American-made (lesson learned!) and there is one (1!) dealer within 75 miles that repairs our brand. It took them 5 days to look at the car. Then they called, told us the cost and we asked for an itemized list. We waited 4 days and never received the list. We called, gave the “ok” for a number of repairs and were told it would be another week. Ugh. THEY’RE SO MEAN!


In all of these cases we WANTED to give our money for these products and services and they mistreated us.  We won’t be signing up for Sprint, visiting that restaurant or getting service at that dealer again!   The lesson here:

Don’t be mean!

We all leaned this in Kindergarten. We should share what we have and take turns. But, in the business world, the phrase is, “putting the customer first.” We hear it so much, we just ignore it now.  It’s white noise.

As a business owner, it is helpful to be your own customer. Are there ways that you’re being portrayed as SO MEAN? If so, work to change those hang-ups so your customer will be signing something a little different.

When you survey your brand, if you’re in need of any small business marketing help, we’re just a bat-phone call away! Sidekicks Marketing

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