For those who live outside the United States, Martin Luther King (MLK) Day marks the birthday of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. This federal holiday is observed on the third Monday of January each year.
Minnesota’s Global Village Duluth sells traditional and modern ethnic clothing and accessories, jewelry, incense, tapestries, lamps, and more — all handcrafted from local artists. The slogan of the store? “Purveyors of good vibrations from around the world since 1978!”
On January 17, those good vibrations were put to the test when the owner of the Facebook Page posted the promotional message above. As of today, the update has landed a record of 246 comments (most of them negative). For a Page with only 299 Likes, it’s quite the engagement, eh?
The problem could have been quickly solved if the company had addressed the complaints. But nothing happened until today.
Of course, an apology is a step in the right direction. However, correct me if I’m wrong, but this message feels a little shallow. What strikes me the most is this: “So offense & admiration come down, yet again, to the eye of the beholder. I certainly can’t change how you behold me. But how you behold me can’t change what I meant. Period.”
Brands need to take a serious look at the way they conduct business online and offline. They cannot just do as they please and expect audiences to read between the lines of their offensive words.
A business owner who cannot completely own up to their mistakes should NOT apologize. In fact, they should not be in business at all.
Words impact us.
And not everything has a dollar sign attached to it.