What a dangerous precedent this sets! I understand the math perspective but caution that ignoring the behavioral perspective could be enormously destructive. Imagine the impact when the company asks them to share their experience on that very company's website (and they all do!)? Or their social networks?
Without coordinating a content strategy with the company's marketing team? Without assistance writing a compelling message? Without great imagery? Without a process or platform to ensure repeated distribution? Without an understanding that sharing content effectively on social isn't easy to do right?
Talk about bad PR. However noble The North Face thought they were being, the attention this is getting only highlights the company's dependency on the oil and gas industry The North Face chose to discriminate against. Why not take the order and insert a card in each jacket pocket, telling the recipient you've planted a tree on their behalf, then go and plant a few hundred trees?
I can't wrap my head around the correlation between hazard pay and/or providing a higher minimum wage being "more meaningful for front-line workers’ long-term well-being." $15/hour is meaningless if you lack substantial healthcare and are on a ventilator.
The operative word here is "fraud" and I am reminded that every good marketing tactic that has ever been devised ends up getting effed-up by greedy and unscrupulous marketers and business people. In this instance, were I the decision maker at the retailer, I'd try to identify and remove any and all fake reviews. If a vendor is found to be complicit in posting them, then the power of the charge-back should curb that behavior. But in typical FTC form, the ruling offers no teeth and will only serve to encourage such activities.
A terrific opportunity for the store, the employees and potentially the consumer, assuming their training also places an emphasis on delivering a great customer experience. Too bad Macy's doesn't have such a program....
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, being a salesperson in a store was a respected position. Salespeople were professionals, built success upon building relationships with their clientele and had a knowledge of the products and services that they sold. If you could study the individual employee cost to the revenue they generated the ROI would most likely astound you. Stores (and no doubt their bean-counters) lost track of this, preferring to see their employees as cattle or cost rather than the life's blood that they were.
These same bean-counters shifted dollars from people to advertising, put price over service and predictably caused the erosion of retailing largely through a total lack of user experience, a standardization of merchandise, and run-down and tired properties. Sadly, this point of view could be applied to these store's approach to their buying and merchandising personnel as well. No wonder that speciality retailers stores are seeing more popularity (you should see what incubators are able to achieve in the OTR section of downtown Cincinnati). Some vision, commitment, and investment in people could go a long way to reversing the decline of sales in many stores.
If there is a high level of abuse then address the reasons why before embarking on a widespread policy change that may hurt the brand's perception among customers. Imagine the reaction just in the social network universe alone! Share of wallet is under assault -- don't put it further at risk with a new PR nightmare.
Why are we discussing questions any rational retailer or consultant already knows the answer to? As a publicly-traded company, it is unlikely that politics trumped (pun intended) sales data. This is probably the least Presidential thing the man has done thus far ... but, hey, that list is growing.