Category Archives: Marketplace

Can You Get Your Customers to Agree Not to Provide Negative Reviews of Your Business?

shhh stock-footage-shhh-girl-puts-fingers-to-lips-shallow-depth-of-fieldSetting aside for a moment whether you should ask your customers to agree not to provide negative reviews of your business as a business practice (that is a discussion all its own), the question before us is whether such an agreement is likely to be enforceable as a legal matter.

Our last post discussed the issue of online defamation by non-customers and what can be done about it. Now we are going to address your ability, as a business owner, to prevent customers from providing negative reviews of your business by getting them to agree not to do so.

Non-disparagement Clauses

This type of clause is called a “non-disparagement clause” and it is fairly common in settlement agreements in connection with litigation and  in agreements relating to the purchase of a business (asset purchase/stock purchase agreements). It goes something like this:

Party A agrees not to make any disparaging statement, either orally or in writing, regarding Party B, the business, products, or services of Party B, or any of Party B’s shareholders, directors, officers, employees or agents, especially its lawyers, who all Parties agree are most excellent.

Okay, so I made that last clause up, but the rest of it is fairly typical of such agreements. Again, these clauses Continue reading Can You Get Your Customers to Agree Not to Provide Negative Reviews of Your Business?

OfficeMax and The Cost of De-Personnel-izing Personalized Marketing Lists

OfficeMax, a photo by RetailByRyan95 on Flickr.
OfficeMax, a photo by RetailByRyan95 on Flickr.

Collecting tons of detailed information about potential customers in order to target your marketing to them seems like a good idea at the time . . . . And, it well may be. But, OfficeMax has a cautionary tale for all of us about the risks of cutting the human element out of marketing.

As reported by numerous news outlets, including  the Los Angeles Times and The Huffington Post, OfficeMax used information gleaned from a third-party provider of customer mailing lists to address an envelope to a father who had tragically lost his child with the designation “daughter killed in car crash” on the line of the address block following the father’s name. Can you imagine receiving such a letter after the heartache of losing a child?

Continue reading OfficeMax and The Cost of De-Personnel-izing Personalized Marketing Lists

Matching Farm Product Supply and Demand is Easier Than You May Think

The specialized farm-to-consumer marketplace is growing in popularity, but both farmers and consumers still sometimes have difficulty finding each other. Direct marketing through farmers markets and local word-of-mouth is one way to for producers and customers to match up.  FarmMatch.com is another way.

FarmMatch.com is a map-based online matching service that helps buyers and sellers of farm products in the U.S. easily locate one another, providing free advertising for those selling farm products (including farms, buying clubs, farmers markets, and restaurants) and allowing consumers to locate and communicate with multiple providers regarding the products they want to purchase. Because it is map-based, it is easy for consumers to find local producers. Continue reading Matching Farm Product Supply and Demand is Easier Than You May Think