Seinfeld on Marketing: Policies

PoliciesIt’s Friday. Do you know what that means? It’s time once again for another installment of “Seinfeld on Marketing.” This week we’ll be talking about company policies.

In this episode of Seinfeld, Jerry bounces a check at a local bodega. He enters the store to talk to Marcelino, the storeowner, about removing his check from the “Do Not Accept Checks From:” sign by the cash register:

JERRY: Again, I’m really sorry about the check, Marcelino. (Jerry takes out his wallet): Look, let me just give you the forty, plus another twenty for your trouble.
JERRY (turning to leave): Aren’t you going to take the check down?
MARCELINO: Sorry, no. It’s store policy.
JERRY: But it’s your bodega.
MARCELINO: Even I am not above the policy.

Lets face it: many policies are the “junk food” of business:

  1. They seem good at the time.
  2. They do more harm than good.
  3. They only mask the real problem.
  4. They are used out of laziness.

Some companies seem to be addicted to policies. A company first may add a new policy because of an outlying situation. The company then creates a sign to enforce the policy. The sign then creates other outlying situations. The company then creates another policy (and sign) to clarify the old policy. Soon the company has conflicting policies that even the employees cannot keep straight. It can turn into a vicious cycle:

Policy Cycle

Is your company addicted to policies?


This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.


4 Responses

  1. Policies and procedures have their place, but my experiences continue to prove to me that marketers are most often policy-resistant, if they’re doing their job right.

  2. Seems to me that Breff is right:
    >marketers are most often policy-resistant, if they’re doing their job right.

  3. Brett and Rek port,

    I would agree.

    In the same vain, do you think a marketer is not “doing their job right” if they do not try to change or eliminate policies that are hurting the customer experience?

  4. […] Posts So what’s your problem?Make ‘em smileAboutSeinfeld on Marketing: PoliciesA Day with Bill Rancic from The ApprenticeDo you have a “Chief Apology Officer”?Will there be an […]

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