Do you have a question about an ethical issue in marketing?
Q: I own a small family business. Sometimes customers suggest that I’m doing something wrong by making a profit on the products they purchase. How can I explain to them that businesses need to be profitable?
A: First, thank them for their business! Then, explain that they also have profited from their purchase, i.e., they gave up something they valued (a certain amount of money) in order to receive something that they valued more (the products you sold them). The net value they gained in the transaction is no different than the net value you receive. In a mutually beneficial exchange, both parties “profit.” To read more about the rightful place of profit, check out this article I recently wrote on Purpose Beyond Profit.
~Dr. David Hagenbuch, Founder
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