Because It’s Total Crap.

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 1st Dec 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Funny Stories

Mr. Gerald Ratner, CEO of Ratner's Group (Now Signet Group) kills his company’s evaluation with a poorly told joke.

An important lesson in the value of company branding

Imagine spending your hard earned money at one of the largest jewelry retailers in the world, only to hear from the chief executive of the company that the products he retails are “total crap”.

This happened to consumers in 1991, when Gerald Ratner, chief executive of the Ratners Group, was speaking at the 1991 Institute of Directors Annual Convention.

Presumably wanting to lighten the mood, Mr. Ratner decided to make a joke about his products:

"We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, "How can you sell this for such a low price?”

I say,

"Because it's total crap."

Having just said that, one would think that Mr. Ratner would’ve realized the error of his ways and just return to his pre-written speech.

But no.

He tried to save the situation by making another bad joke.

He compared their earrings to a prawn sandwich:

"They're cheaper than a M&S prawn sandwich but won't last nearly as long".

Like dude...

I don’t know what madness got into Mr. Ratner that told him that telling a joke that inadvertently mocks your customer base and lowers your product would be a good idea.

At the time, Ratners Group was company valued at approximately £840 million plus and was the largest retailer of jewelry in the world. His brilliance managed to wipe out roughly £500 million from the company's value.

It was so bad that the company had to completely rebrand.

They fired Mr. Ratner, changed their name from Ratner's to the Signet Group and made no mention of their original name in their history blurb on the website.

Ratners speech lives as an example of
•The value of branding and image over quality and:
•Why executives should choose their words carefully.


Big Mistake, Business, Humor

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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