Lessons from Nordstrom, Zuckerberg and Canada on how actions speak louder than words.

By Amber Hudson 

I don’t know, maybe it’s the egg nog talking but I can’t help but feel the warm and fuzzies reading, for once, some positive news stories:  22 major retailers in the US, including Nordstrom, didn’t start Black Friday on Thanksgiving because they believe people should be home with their families.  Mark Zuckerberg donated 99% of his Facebook stock over his lifetime to his charity.  Canadian kids sent welcome messages to newly arrived Syrian refugees (pass me a Kleenex would you?  Thanks). 

Then the cynics try to make it all come crashing down:  Nordstrom was just a big PR play, Mark Zuckerberg is going after a tax break, the refugees will cost Canada too much money.  

Sigh…. 

Can’t the good guys catch a break?  

Marketing 101 taught us it’s all about the marketing message.  Not any more folks, today it’s all about the marketing action.  It’s not enough to have a brand belief on paper.  Brands need to live that belief through action as there will always be those lining up to take pot shots at you.  And it’s going to get worse.  Generation Z is being raised by Gen X parents – the original cynics.  According to The Sound, unlike Millennials Gen Z are more realistic than idealistic, they are raised to be critical thinkers and to question before accepting anything is real or true, they actively challenge institutions and brands, and will fight for what’s right on their own terms making them true reformists.  And since these guys are the new generation of trend setters and money spenders you better take notice.  

If you live your beliefs with conviction then let the cynics have at it.   Companies like Nordstrom gave up revenue by closing on Thanksgiving, Mark Zuckerberg is not getting a tax break and despite the cost, our government agreed to take in refugees because it is simply the right thing to do.

Your mom was right, actions do speak louder than words.