I stumbled upon this image on facebook a few weeks ago.

What the Hellers is going on with the expiry date?

What the Hellers is going on with the expiry date?

I assume it was created by the company’s Human Resources department. HR departments the world over are always super keen to dot the i's and cross the t's and make sure everyone knows where the lines are in Corporate Land. I wonder if the Marketing Department had any say in it? I assume so. Someone had to design it and lay it out in the correct corporate font and make sure it was framed in the correct colour.

The reality however is that from an internal marketing point of view this is a complete cock up. Who’d want to work in an environment where the company has to so blatantly state the obvious about what you should and shouldn’t be doing? I know that it’s fairly uncommon to see the human race using common sense but do Hellers really have to tell their staff not to be bullies and that they shouldn’t swear at people? And should this really have an expiry date? We’re talking about people here, not sausages!

Someone in a leadership position had to have authorized this when they should really have rejected it. There’s no way that this kind of corporate mantra will ever attract and keep top quality staff. Could you imagine this sign at Google, Apple or Virgin? All Hellers are going to get here are Sheepwalkers. But I suppose that’s OK since all they manufacture is processed meats, and really, how much innovation can there be in that field?

Quite a lot I’d say. Consider that Todd Heller opened the first Hellers butchery in Christchurch in 1985 and in less than 28 years has grown the business to become New Zealand’s largest smallgoods manufacturer. You don’t get growth like that without innovation, especially from a marketing perspective. But now that they’re at the top I suspect they’re resting on their laurels a bit. Who could (and who’d want to) try and claim their throne?

As consumers we never get to see behind the doors of big businesses like Hellers. We don’t know what happens in their boardrooms or what goes on at the production line. All we see is what they want us to see. The problem with that is it’s 2013 and far too often consumers get to peek behind the curtain and see what’s really going on.