Stop The Insanity

Driving to work today, I saw a truck with a silly caricature on the back.  The side read “Mad Man Mack Furniture” with something about low prices.  It made me start thinking about marketing.

America has an entire marketing concept based around a business owner or manager mispricing product due to some sort of mental illness (aka Our prices are INSANE! or Crazy Joe’s Furniture).  It’s hard to say when this idea started.  Maybe a bunch of customers asked a shop owner how his prices were so low and he just started saying he was crazy.  Just having fun, sure.  But at what point did someone decide it was a good thing to promote that they were crazy, even if fictionally? 

We all play along and think it’s fun to go to a place that is supposedly run by a crazy person, but think of the reality. Why do we promote taking advantage of the mentally ill for our personal benefit?  Picture an actual mentally ill person opening a store.  You’ll find TV’s for $100 and candy for $2000.  Why?  Because the owner has no common sense, let alone business sense!  Things are priced by the value they have to him.  He likes candy and doesn’t really want to part with it, but TVs don’t mean anything to him.

Now,obviously a business like this would go bankrupt in a month, but imagine how it would play out.  First you would have the people buying things quietly, because they don’t want to the owner to know he’s losing so much money.  Why should they care about someone who is incapable of setting proper prices?  Then word gets out and you have the masses stampeding the store grabbing anything they can, like Black Friday on cocaine.  Why should they care about the owner?  they don’t care about anyone but themselves.

It’s a sad and sickening scene, nothing like going to a normal discounter like Bob’s Crazy Dealhouse.  Shouldn’t we be better than trying to convince buyers that we’re better because we’re crazy?

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