The reality is not many consumers care what their favorite brand stands for or what it’s founders say or are involve in. The founder of a real estate empire can be womanizer and a slave driver — — — And yet most consumers can separate the founder from the product. And there are always going to be some who will not stand for it. The example that comes to mind is Tiger Woods and the numerous women he had consensual sex with while married. No harm done but some companies pull their sponsorship dollars.
So the current situation with Dolce & Gabbana founders is another example how values and money conflicts in reality. As a person who markets, helps manage a fast growing founders community, and assist founders, I wanted to help myself and fellow founders learn from Dolce Gabbana founders.
BREAKDOWN OF DOLCE & GABBANA MEDIA MISUNDERSTANDING OR TRUE COLOR
[“Founders of Dolce&Gabbana Domenico Dolce, left, and Stefano Gabbana apologize in a video on Chinese social media, saying “sorry” in Mandarin seen on a computer screen in Beijing, China, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. The Italian fashion house has been in hot water for controversial video ads and insulting remarks on China made by Instagram accounts of its co-founder.]- Associate Press
DO YOU FUCKING CARE IF BRANDS ARE RACIST OR NOT?
[“Social media can make something trend fast, the videos advertising a product can go viral really easily and boost its sales, but their power work in reverse as well. This is what happened to Dolce&Gabbana, the Italian luxury brand, that ended up triggering the antonym of a commercial campaign in less than 24 hours. The duo was planning a huge fashion show in Shanghai, probably the biggest one ever organized by the brand, with more than a thousand guests, 360 models, and 120 artists between dancers and actors participating in the event at the Expo Center, a location of 18 thousand square meters.
Of course, the event was highly anticipated by social media, creating an expectation larger than the Great Wall of China. However, a video posted on Instagram provoked a wave of criticism, anger, insults and offenses that threw away days of work and a lot of money in minutes. The controverted video was a three parts spot where a Chinese model, wrapped in an elegant and sophisticated Dolce&Gabbana gown, was trying to eat three typical Italian dishes, pizza, spaghetti and a Sicilian cannolo, with a pair of chopsticks, ultimately failing and embarrassing herself.
Soon the spot received thousands of negative comments accusing the brand of promoting stereotypes that always portray Asian people as dumb and foolish, of being ultimately racist and of lacking common sense.
The indignation was such that Weibo, the biggest Chinese social media, decided to take down the videos. But this was not the end of the polemic. The Instagram account DietPrada, a known page in the fashion business that exposes false copies of luxury items, published the screenshot of a private conversation between Stefano Gabbana and Michaela Tranova, a British associate of the page, in which the designer said that “China is a shitty country” and an “ignorant, dirty and smelly” place, while insulting Weibo for not understanding something that was meant to be funny.] — — Annalisa Girardi Opinion Contributor @Forbes
MY CONVENTIONAL & UNCONVENTIONAL SUGGESTIONS FOR FOUNDERS
- It’s your fucking brand. Stand for whatever the fuck you want to stand for as long as it’s not promoting the hate, harm or dislike of others. Doing so is just business suicide.
- If you think, deep down, a different ethnic/other group with money shouldn’t be buying your goods or be in your place of business then come out say it loud and clear. So people can take their money else where. People usually know what brands they want to associate with and which ones to stay away from.
- Greed and money seems to show a brand’s and it’s managers their true color. I bet people use to think Dump Hospitality was all about embracing the rich lifestyle. However with time we’ve come to associate it only for an obvious strong preference.
- If you don’t want to change your values or embrace diversity or welcome others to buy your shit then make it expressively clear. I’m not necessarily endorsing this behavior but I think many people would like to know your Brand is racist or homophobic or antisemitism or anti-Muslim or anti-capitalism or whatever fucking ridiculous shit you’d want to align your business too. Hopefully your bottom-line might make you change?
- Why pretend to welcome LGBTA into your business if you don’t want to serve them Just put a fucking signup so the rest of us can take our fucking dollars to places that are tolerant of different people, specifically the human race.
- There’s nothing wrong with exclusively hanging out with people who look and act like you however the world isn’t a homogeneous world. Make an effort to embrace differences because your future relevancy will depend on it. Plus, there are genetically engineered humans coming.
- Any exclusive group/ brotherhood/ sisterhood that hints at the hate of another group simply because they exist should be a sign to Get The Fuck Away.
- There are good and bad people with diverse background. There are rich assholes just as there are poor assholes. There are violent mothers just as there are loving mothers. There are responsible black fathers just as there are delinquent black fathers. There are gay conservatives just as there are racist gay liberals.
- Just so we are clear I and Founders Under 40 Group and it’s affiliates have nothing against any ethnic, religions, national group or even racist groups. However, if you fuck with humanity via harming other humans then you are going to feel the wrath of other powerful men and women around the world who choose to be tolerant of different people.
- Be careful how you use stereotypes or not use stereotypes.
- If you insult a nation and it’s ways directly and indirectly you are going to face hell.
- In business 101, know your target, get the money, satisfy customers, get repeat customers and uphold healthy values if you serve a diverse population.
- Companies that don’t respect their targets need to sell and market else where and don’t deserve respect or admiration back.
- A good question to always ask is, Do you want to change to the market or do you want the market to change to you?
- Unfortunately in some industry and business you get rewarded for being an asshole to others. [for the past few years, inflammatory and insensitive behavior is also on-brand for the luxury label started by Domenico Dolce and Steffano Gabbana in 1985. Even more troubling, this behavior is usually followed by a meek apology and a return to business as usual.] — -Rachel Tashjian of Garage via VICE
[Over 10,000 people signed a petition asking Macy’s and Debenhams to stop carrying the brand; protestors called for a boycott; celebrities including Elton John spoke out against them. The designers launched the hashtag #BoycottEltonJohn, though a few months later, they gave an interview with CNN in which Stefano atoned: “We love gay couple. We are gay. We love gay couple. We love gay adoption. We love everything. It’s just an express of my private point of view.” Dolce added: “I love the music of Elton John.”] — -Rachel Tashjian of Garage via VICE
- If the founders view and values are different from the brand or the target it serves, be sure to find ways to keep founders views private, or distinguish the difference. Let your brand have it’s own voice and identity.