We all know smoking is bad for your health, but is it bad for your business, too?
Here are three examples where, at the very least, the customer experience was damaged by a company’s lackadaisical smoking policies:
- Yesterday, two of my co-workers saw a cool bakery truck that caught their attention. The driver had on a nice uniform, and clearly his employer had invested in their brand.Then they saw the driver puffing away on a cigarette in his truck.The thought of the smoke getting to the baked goods and then him handling the product, well, grossed them out.
- At a restaurant I frequent for lunch, one of the cooks takes a smoke break in front of the establishment then comes back in, washes his hands, and gets back to work.The smoke wafts in often, and when he walks by he smells like a stale pack of smokes. Let’s just say it’s not very appetizing.
- My family stayed at a decent hotel right across the street from the main gate at Disneyland last year. The hotel had gone to great lengths to make the entry an experience—with one exception: The pickup and drop-off area featured a bench and a couple of ashtrays.The first time we walked into the hotel, we were treated to a dose of second-hand smoke that took about five years off my life. I thought this was a one-time occurrence, but nearly every time we walked into the hotel, we had to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke.
I know, this isn’t the Responsible Smoking blog. It’s about marketing.
But considering smoking is on the decline in the U.S., and 80.2% of the people in this country are non-smokers, can you ignore the potential damage your smoking policies may have on your brand?
Can you afford the negative word of mouth?
Am I overreacting, or is this a legitimate concern?
What do you think?
. . .