From Shame to Genius: A Marketing Contemplation

Christina Frei Adventure Guides, Innate Marketing Genius, Kickass Marketing Strategies, Marketing Genius, Marketing Tactics
Photo Credit: Joe Ciarcia at

Since shame seems to be a common currency on social media these days, I wanted to share my own experience with it and what happened when I took an Innate Marketing Genius perspective.

A friend recently shamed me for getting a dog from a breeder. On Facebook.

At first, I was angry. WTF?

Then I just got sad.  After extending an olive branch of “Hey, I’m really glad you care this much. Maybe Facebook isn’t the place for this conversation?” and getting more shamed, I realized she was no longer “with” me. She was in her agenda. Nothing I could have said would have move the conversation forward.

The interesting thing was that she didn’t change a thing on behalf of her mission. All the dogs she talked about who would be euthanized? Not one was saved by her shaming approach.

So after I had a good cry (a few good cries, to be honest) on behalf of all dogs and the humans who love them, I got curious. If shaming doesn’t work, what could?

Well, gosh, I’m a marketer, right? I have this typing system called Innate Marketing Genius. Could it help?

I looked at my friend’s Facebook feed and her website, and she definitely presents as an Adventure Guide.  So now what?

Well, it turns out that Adventure Guides are really good at inspiring people to bigger dreams and goals, and they empower their peeps to reach for them. This is easy for them. Instead of sending sad, shaming messages, my friend could inspire lots of people, including me, to adopt rescue dogs by showing them what’s possible and helping them see how to get there. Can you feel the power of that?

Adventure Guides Can Inspire People to Adopt Dogs by:

  • Creating videos of happily adopted dogs with their families.
  • Creating videos of dogs who are ready to be adopted for an ASPCA website.
  • Telling moving stories of rescue dogs being saved.
  • Educating the public about how doable it all is.
  • Feature their own rescue dog(s) and their happy life with them.

The whole approach says, “This is a great life adventure for you and you’ve got this.” This moves everything forward. This is Innate Marketing Genius.

Do you ever get upset about something and want to use shame to change someone’s behavior? I get it. I’m tempted too. But there’s another way, and it will actually move the needle. Let’s talk about that.

(In case you haven’t met him, that’s Sammy, my 4-month old Norwich Terrier).