business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

It is a pretty good rule that one should not insult one's customers. Not the ones who spend a lot of money on your products and/or services, or those of more modest means who may not spend as much money but feel no less of a connection to your brand. In fact, they help support your brand. They keep you in business.

There's lots of reasons to behave this way, even beyond the fact that it simply is the right thing to do ... like today's modest spenders may be tomorrow's big spenders, and it doesn't make sense to insult the customers.

Well, clearly this is not a rule that the New York Yankees organization has learned. This became evident on Sunday when John Oliver, of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," decided to devote a segment of his program to the team.

The Yankees, you see, apparently got tired of season ticket holders who spend thousands of dollars on premium seats deciding to sell those seats to what they think of as less-desirable fans who end up sitting in seats far too nice and expensive for people like them. So they banned ticket holders from selling those premium tickets on StubHub ... and in doing so, managed to insult the vast majority of fans who usually can't afford the best seats in the vastly overpriced and unimpressive new Yankee Stadium.

Now, John Oliver has a terrific take on the problem ... and a unique solution. As usual, the language is pretty colorful, but I still encourage you to watch it, above.

But the Eye-Opening part of this is how the people who own and run the Yankees communicate that they are better than the fans who support the team through thick and thin. These executives have decided that it is all about them, and they've probably never even used the term "servant leadership." Hell, they probably don't even know what it means.

Check out the video ... and think about how you treat and think about your customers. All your customers. And then remember who keeps you in business.

KC's View: