Once upon a time a certain Greek ship bound for Athens was wrecked off the coast close to Piraeus, the port of Athens. Had it not been for the Dolphins, who at that time were very friendly toward mankind and especially toward Athenians, all would have perished. But the Dolphins took the shipwrecked people on their backs and swam with them to shore.
Now it was the custom among the Greeks to take their pet monkeys and dogs with them whenever they went on a voyage. So when one of the Dolphins saw a Monkey struggling in the water, he thought it was a man, and made the Monkey climb up on his back. Then off he swam with him toward the shore.
The Monkey sat up, grave and dignified, on the Dolphin's back.
"You are a citizen of illustrious Athens, are you not?" asked the Dolphin politely.
"Yes," answered the Monkey, proudly. "My family is one of the noblest in the city."
"Indeed," said the Dolphin. "Then of course you often visit Piraeus."
"Yes, yes," replied the Monkey. "Indeed, I do. I am with him constantly. Piraeus is my very best friend."
This answer took the Dolphin by surprise, and, turning his head, he now saw what it was he was carrying. Without further ado, he dived and left the foolish Monkey to drown!
Aesop Fable - 620 B.C. - 560 B.C.
Little harsh as a fable but what can we take from this anecdote, what is the moral of this story?
If you think about it, there are many fables and fairy tales that follow a similar theme.
(Pinocchio, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, etc.).
What useful lesson can this impart to us?
How can we apply this to our business or marketing strategy?
I’m sure you’ve all seen those glitzy ads that pop up when you’re trying to watch something online, trying to sell you some rubbish that you aren’t even interested in. I’m sure if ‘your bag’ is marketing you have even thought of using that technique once or twice to get your products or services some extra press.
But like those old 'Lynx body spray' adverts showing the nerd spraying himself, and then gorgeous women (who smelt the fragrance) begin running towards him - it doesn’t actually work, it’s total hokum!
The moral of this tale:
“He who begins to tell falsehoods is obliged to tell others to make them appear true, and, sooner or later, they will get him into trouble.”
In your services and in your marketing: Stick to the truth, To the facts.
Sure this may not be as sexy or alluring as some wild claims that may get you that sale with less effort, but what exaggerating won’t get you is a satisfied customer - who will come back, again and again & recommend you to their customers and partners.
It won’t get you the reputation of an honest company that wants to help their customers and provide good honest products and services.
That’s what the truth is for, leave the falsehoods to the monkey!