It’s not new news, the use of performance-enhancing drugs, whether in sport, at work or at play. We tend to hear more about the repercussions when pushed too far, too high, for too long – putting health, wealth, relationships and reputation at risk for the individual and the company.
No this is not about Armstrong, its about Adderall, a drug readily being prescribed to and taken by all the high performers in New York to increase productivity. My initial concern was about the desire for healthy profits overtaking the desire for healthy employees. Then I read the second part after ‘it optimises productivity’… ‘and it dulls your personality levels’. Not belittling but putting health concerns aside for a moment, doesn’t that mean if we strip people of their personality, we’re encouraging corporate cloning? Millions of people exactly the same. And when the people are the same, they are attracted to the same type of company. Then the companies are the same. Zero differentiation. So even if you don’t care about the health of your people, then isn’t differentiation a commercial argument enough against taking Adderall?
When we talk about brands, we talk about differentiation to build a sustainable business – what makes one business different to another, not just at a product or service level but at the core, the foundations upon which its built, its purpose, belief and values. Making sure that everything a brand is, says and does is rooted in these foundations, and demonstrated through its own unique personality and behaviour. People choose one brand over another because they are attracted to the personality and their values are aligned. It doesn’t mean people have to hold exactly the same values, they just appreciate each other’s values, in one way or another to decide what kind of relationship they’ll have with that brand and business. This goes for all current and potential people connected to the brand – consumers, customers, suppliers, shareholders and employees.
So if every business on Wall Street attracts the same high-performing individuals with no personality – people and companies who value profits over people – how does one business compete over another for top talent? And how do I as a consumer choose one business over another? I know what you’re saying – it comes down to money. But there’s only so many times you can up the financials, before its no longer feasible. It’s a rational, superficial and dirty game to play.
I use the Laundry category analogy. White. Whiter than white. Whiter than whiter than white. Dirt is good. Who’s the winner here?
Image Source: Dreamstime.com | Gualtiero Boffi