Was spending a message to a former schoolmate in charge of a Marketing Company good or bad idea?

I’m not sure if what I did was dumb or stupid or not. I was looking at my Linkedin page under my real name. The last time I logged in- I was scrolling through “My network” and I noticed that one of my former schoolmates (whose Dad in my Gr.10th- Grade 12 was the teacher whom dealt with Disabled kids in the normal stream aka the AR teacher)-had founded a business of some sort during Covid. It’s a women supporting women business and focusing on branding and marketing.

I don’t know what the schoolmate’s clients’ products are - but I sent a message to the schoolmate giving some suggestions for clothing or makeup (well more make-up then clothing). I know women aren’t all interested in make-up or clothing. Like I suggested that if a client’s product might be make-up having the packaging be tactile.

I also suggested that they try to include disabled people in marketing since disabled people have money too.

Was me sending a message to a former schoolmate a good/bad idea?
  • Good idea (brands should try to be accessible!)
  • Maybe
  • Bad idea
  • indifferent

0 voters

No offence intended but Bad Idea. Yes, brands should be accessible but, as you didn’t do any brand research, you don’t know if your former classmate is actually involved with the brand beyond flogging the stuff. Also, if you haven’t been in contact for the last 15 years or so, having a blast from the past going “Your brand is crap as it isn’t accessible!” particularly if you only sell it then it could cause unintended offence.

In short - Research the brand. It may already be accessible, just not via your classmate. Also, by offering the suggestion, you may have killed it entirely. Many companies have policies that specifically forbid product ideas from outside the company. If your friend takes the idea to the company and they make it, you could pull out this message and try and sue them for a cut of the Loonies. No company wants that liability.

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It is probably kinda off-putting that you sent a message to advise someone you haven’t otherwise contacted, about products you don’t even know whether they are selling. At best this was a bizarre interaction your old classmate will not respond to.

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And how am I suppose to do brand research if Schoolmate (not classmate she wasn’t in any of MY classes) doesn’t say anything about the clients’ projects on her company website?

@RebeccaBlue it’s not (Schoolmate) whom is selling the products but her CLIENTS. She’s just trying to HELP the clients sell their brand and marketing. And again there is no information on the schoolmate’s site about what her clients are trying to sell.

For all I know the clients could be trying to sell gym equipment! But they could also be trying to sell makeup, clothing, or apps for mobile phones.

These are what is on her site:

Marketing the way forward.

We equip you with effective brand and marketing strategy so you can grow your business intentionally and sustainably

" OUR SERVICES

Let’s reimagine marketing together.

As a women-driven, full-service brand and marketing house, we create sustainable strategy and structure for your business without the unnecessary overhead and retainers that put most marketing out of reach. With experienced excellence, we deliver only what you need and nothing that you don’t. "

About Marketing:
"From start-ups to established brands, we work with you to provide the clarity and direction in your marketing. We set the strategy and bring it all to life through inspired creative campaigns. "

" Let’s reimagine marketing together.

As a women-driven, full-service brand and marketing house, we create sustainable strategy and structure for your business without the unnecessary overhead and retainers that put most marketing out of reach. With experienced excellence, we deliver only what you need and nothing that you don’t."

" FORWARDLY FEMALE

All women deserve equal access and opportunity to the resources, connections and education that make their ideas, products and brands come alive in the world. This is the socially-conscious tenet (Company) was founded on and why we’ve been a female-focused brand ever since.

When you hire us, you’re hiring women honoured with time flexibility, family life awareness, competitive pay and mindful mentoring. From this balanced and inclusive place, we can show you just how successful implementing sustainable and socially-forward practices and plans can be."

## is the practical movement of a winning vision.

It’s a gathering of strategic minds from all creative fields in a communal and unified mission to lift up the brands, ideas and women the world needs to know about. It’s a place where effective doesn’t mean super expensive, where sustainable doesn’t only mean straws and where support doesn’t mean competition. We exist because there’s a better way of doing things, and someone needs to lead the charge, be the example and set a new pace."

Sustainability.
What does it even mean?
For us, it’s a way of seeing things and a constant state of being. It’s more long-term and less disposable, more made well than made often. It’s subtle and slow-burning while also loud and urgent. It’s planning past the next campaign and thinking about the next generation. It’s making sure the woman of all women, Mother Earth, isn’t stained by our work, and that the women who live here - the ones so full of ideas, promise and creativity - are celebrated with the education and empowerment they need to be known. Sustainability is a whole way of life for us, and we’re honoured to live by its standards through personal integrity and professional activism. "

"One-for-one business model

We offer and uphold a one-for-one business model. For every project awarded to(company), we provide consultancy and resources to female-founded start-ups who are financially under-resourced"

Brands:

Brand Strategy

DEFINING WHO YOU ARE

WHO ARE YOU?

WHY ARE YOU HERE?
WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

It’s exciting but can be overwhelming. Through research, brainstorm and conversation, I’ll guide you on this path of discovery that results in a brand strategy that gives you the clarity and confidence in who you are and how to take the next steps.

YOUR CUSTOMER

An in-depth look at your target customer and overall segmentation. We’ll get to know our customer personas better than we know ourselves and understand the key messages for each segment.

THE BRAND IDENTITY

A complete summary of your mission, vision and brand purpose, differentiators, positioning, value proposition, and more. Every buzz word you’ve heard in branding conversations and more.

YOUR BRAND EXPRESSION

Bringing the brand to life, understanding what you say (through your brand story) and how you say it. "

Marketing

Strategy

Your audience wants to find you, love you and buy from you, but without a clear marketing strategy that builds the breadcrumbs to find you, they’re lost. Let’s fix that.

As a general rule, offering someone your advice when they haven’t asked for it is not a good idea. It will probably be ignored, and may even offend that person.

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But all i was doing is just putting out there that disabled people might want to be able to access the products or be included in marketing or both. And without knowing what the schoolmate’s clients projects are (there is zero information about the clients products on the schoolmate’s website). I mean I’m not expecting a reply but I just putting it there for the person to just keep in her mind that disabled people might want to be customers of her clients’ projects.

And also she isn’t disabled… but her Dad was the head of the Disabled Kids like myself whom were in the “normal stream” as of Gr.10.

I mean how else can I give her information except for messaging her directly without asking another friend “Hey friend could you contact (schoolmate) and ask her if her clients’ projects included thinking about the disabled community? If not could you ask her to contact me”?

Going to stick with bad idea. From her spiel this is her profession. I am a brewer. Beer is made with water, barley, hops and yeast . You sent her the equivalent of someone emailing me saying “Do you know that you need to brew with hops?”. Obvious and possibly patronising.

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And since she is not disabled… it might not be in her mind? So it’s not something she or her clients might think of about potential disabled customers? I mean there’s no information about her clients products. And she’s only been in the business for over two years now since she only founded the business at the start of Covid

You’re not discriminated against because of your race but you still think about it. Just because she isn’t disabled (or more importantly doesn’t advertise if she has a hidden disability) doesn’t mean that she hasn’t thought about it. It’s very close-minded of you to assume that she doesn’t think of these things just because she’s done this current project for two years. You really need to open up your world-view.

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and my world view is that according to at least the visually impaired community that those people (and other disabled people) is/are not included in a LOT of products (or even in the marketing) for normal folks. Like something I listened to recently, the YouTube video said that a lot of apps for mobiles TURN OFF the voice readers or the ZOOM IN feature which make them inaccessible to visually impaired.

And why did you bring up the race thing? That has NOTHING to do about disabilities.

Edit: I mean if disabled community wasn’t discrimated against why was there such a big to do when Herbal Essence’s Shampoo and Conditor made bumps on the bottom of the bottles for visually impaired people to know which is the Shampoo and Condiator? Or Christmas of 2021 there was such a big deal of a chocolate company (Purdy’s) making a tactile version of the “Chocolate boxes” for the visually impaired?

I agree. But some things don’t need people for the advertisement either. The fact of the matter is that her blurb seems to parrot inclusivity and similar values. It’s wrong of you to assume that she hasn’t thought of these things. It may help if you copy the message that you actually sent below.

I used race as a comparative item where people who are not members of another race don’t automatically think to include them.

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Purdy’s choclate Braille box:

Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditor:

I know visually impaired is only part of the disabled community. But it’s what I know about because of Molly

Do you also walk into random shops without checking what they sell and tell the cashiers they should try to be more disability-friendly?

From what I’ve skimmed through of what you posted about this person’s website, they sell marketing. It is up to their clients as to what products they sell and whether or not they want to be accessible to people. So first of all, this would not be the right person to contact about such things.

If you did want to talk to someone about disability-accessible products, I’d suggest finding either an advocate group or someone who’s actually in charge of what the business sells. For the later, who quite frankly probably wouldn’t want to talk to a stranger, you would start by asking permission to give suggestions.

Messaging someone out of the blue to give unsolicited advice is, generally speaking, a bad idea.

And as a side note, I personally don’t like how you worded your poll. Because yes brands should try to be accessible, but no you probably shouldn’t have messaged this person.

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and how am I suppose to know what the schoolmate’s clients are trying to SELL if there’s no information of any kind of the clients’ products? The schoolmate’s website says that she’s a consulting "BRAND AND MARKETING STRAGETRY CONSULATATION". For me to even get information about the clients and or their products would be through (schoolmate) herself.

Without going through (schoolmate) I can’t:
research clients’ brands
can’t research their products
or other things you guys “suggest”

Diversity and inclusion are the in thing for marketing right now. Call me cynical but I think that by getting these advertorials into the media they’re going to get more sales through the well-meaning left-leaning majority than the people these items are designed to help.

And I second the point made that yes, brands should be accessible but no, you shouldn’t have messed this person.

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Schoolmate isn’t using her website to get customers to visit her clients’ websites, she’s using it to get more clients. You aren’t supposed to be able to find out who her clients are or what they sell.

This schoolmate is not the right person to contact about this issue. Even if you find the right person to contact about this issue, you might not be the right person to contact them about it.

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Advocate groups. Write a blog. Contribute articles to independent media sources. There are many ways.

Here is the main point:

Don’t send your unsolicited ideas to random people on social media.

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she is a CONSULTANTION FOR BRANDS AND MARKETING not a “random” person on “social media” I’m not contacting her on Facebook but the professional LinkedIn. And Marketing is a big deal for disabled people. Since how many disabled people do you see in marketing on TV? My Mom makes a big deal whenever there’s a wheelchair in an ad or in an Ad for Amazon there was a man whom used ASL.

# Nielsen study: People with disabilities are largely absent from TV advertising
Only 1% of primetime ads feature people with disabilities, the report found. And existing attempts at representation often miss the mark.

So how can I know about her client’s products for me to do research on those products if there’s no information about products without me contacting schoolmate?

LinkedIn - Sell yourself and sell your product. Social media for professionals. Whether LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. it’s all Social Media.

Are you going to hire this person? No? Then believe me, she’s not interested. You’re fifteen years out of touch. She’s a random person, or more importantly, you’re a random person to her.

And your family is anomalous. From your other threads, they do things very differently to the way others do - at least from the sample size of those who still respond to your threads. However - The question asked was:

Question: Should I have messaged this person?

Survey says: No.

The point remains:

Don’t message random people your unsolicited ideas on social media.

Here endeth the lesson. Peace.

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How much do you actually know about this person? You went to the same school, and you know her job title, but how well do you know her?

I’m guessing not much (though I could be wrong about that). It seems like the only reason you’ve messaged her is because you recognise her name from school and she’s on your LinkedIn (which I’m pretty sure counts as a social media website for job stuff).

I can’t say too much about disabled people in adverts since I either skip them or go make a cup of tea, and maybe this is an issue that matters to a lot of other disabled people. Does not change that contacting this person is not likely to help at all with that.

This person is not your “in” to contacting businesses about their products. Which products her clients sell doesn’t really matter since she isn’t the right person for you to be talking to. You just happen to know her name.

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