Is Clotaire Rapaille Feeding or Failing Marketing?

by Jean-Francois Belisle on April 6, 2010

in Academics,Personal Branding

Last week, brands’ psychoanalyst (sometimes referred as cultural anthropologist) Clotaire Rapaille was fired by the Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume from his role as a brand management (image) consultant for the city because mainly of curriculum vitae falsifications. The news arrived more than a month after being hired to a $300,000 3-month contract to propose a branding plan for Quebec City. By trying to push too far his own marketing, Clotaire Rapaille completely violated the fundamental principles of personal branding and lost a portion of his credibility. When reading all these stories about Rapaille, one question came off the top of my head: Is Clotaire Rapaille feeding or failing marketing?

Clotaire Rapaille

Clotaire Rapaille

Why is Clotaire Rapaille feeding marketing?

By qualifying himself as an anthropologist, Clotaire Rapaille first reminds me cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken who to my limited knowledge in this field, was one of the first high-end anthropologist marketing consultant to sign lucrative consulting contracts with multinationals (Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, IBM, IKEA, Chrysler, Kraft, and Kimberly Clark). Perhaps the hiring of Clotaire Rapaille is the sign pointing the beginning of an era of lucrative consulting contracts for marketers’ anthropologists. On the academic side, this hiring could reinforce the appeal of cultural anthropology in marketing at the undergraduate and MBA-level, a field led by the York University crew (Russell W. Belk, Eileen Fischer, Robert Kozinets & Detlev Zwick) and growing in importance in the Montreal area (Zeynep Arsel and Annamma Joy at Concordia University and Jonathan Deschênes, Jean-Sébastien Marcoux, Marie-Agnès Parmentier, Yannik St-James at HEC Montréal) and especially at HEC Montréal.

Why is Clotaire Rapaille failing marketing?

By being fired from his consulting contract with Quebec City, Clotaire Rapaille makes marketing sounds like magic in the eyes of the populace, which is completely false. Surely, marketing is not a hard science at the same level as pure mathematics. However, marketers are not magicians or should not claim to be, let magic to mindfreak like Criss Angel. The discipline takes its roots in psychology, anthropology, statistics, economics and computer science, which creates a sexy melting pot. The “science” of marketing is based on empirical generalizations, strong conceptual frameworks and learning-by-doing case studies that lead to best practices.

Magician Criss Angel

Magician Criss Angel

Conclusion

Briefly, one sure thing is that Clotaire Rapaille is a good example of a personal branding failure. However, the Clotaire Rapaille personal branding failure has had negative and positive spillover effects for all those working in the field of marketing in the province of Quebec and perhaps even in North America. What do you think? Any other comments?

Jean-Francois Belisle

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Enjoy the Holidays and the Top 10 Posts of 2010 on My Blog — Jean-Francois Belisle, M.Sc.
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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Justine Torris April 6, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I agree as you say that Marketing is a “sexy melting pot” which permits to go far in the analysis of people and how to reach goals to create a win-win situation for the company and the customers. It can also be viewed as manipulation sometimes, but doing good marketing with ethics is not manipulation but is totally amazing.

So why not doing marketing for ourselves if we know how to make it in definite limits? There is no doubt about the fact that Clotaire Rapaille failed his personal branding, but according to me, it shows at which point marketing has to be precise not to be viewed in a perverse and wrong way, in this case, as lies and CV falsifications.

What he did seems totally stupid but can’t we understand why he took the risk to be that stupid? This makes me think about a research study: “Effects of impression management on performance ratings” (Sandy J. Wayne, Robert C. Linden). Impression Management is the process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them. In the same way that what Clotaire Rapaille did, it must be cautious not to be perceived as insincere or manipulative (Self-promotion and Ingratiation are part of the technique). Here are the results of the study: “The current study extends knowledge on impression management by demonstrating that a subordinate’s use of impression management early in the relationship with a supervisor induces liking and perceptions of similarity, which in turn influence performance ratings made later”. Amazing!
Even if impression management is not exactly a marketing technique, it just proves to me that dishonest (unethical in extreme cases) behaviors can work on people, because everyone can be manipulated even if no one really want to admit it…

I would conclude saying that marketing is not magic, but good marketers can create some, by being smart, precise and respectful of the limits not to cross the unethic limits with others.

2 Vicki Marcoux April 6, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Clotaire Rapaille is failing marketing. I hope that people wouldn’t compare every marketers at him.

Of course he is done a great job with New York and it’s great to mix psychoanalysis and sociology to marketing. But in the situation that concerns us, he was totally disrespectful to all citizens of the city of Quebec by lying in his resume
And that’s not what I’ve learn in class. In every class, I’ve been teach how important it is to respect some code of ethics. I think that lying isn’t part of it.

Of course like everyone I wish that marketing will act like magic. But it doesn’t work like that and above all I don’t want people to believe such a thing. People are all ready believing that marketers are only good with words and that they are shovelling clouds. The profession do not need such publicity.

It’s really a sad day for all marketers. Clotaire Rapaille left a cloudy sky above all respectful worker.

3 Sybile April 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I definitely think Clotaire Rapaille failed marketing.

By putting false record on his curriculum Vitae and exposing it to an entire province, Clotaire Rapaille destroyed its reputation. Because he represented a true investment for Quebec City ($300 000!!) he created many polemics as soon as he arrived: why hire a French guy? And was it justified to pay him so much? The answer: he had a strong background and was the best Quebec could hire in the brand management field. According to the consultant himself…

And that made him the center of attention for quite a time. He had succeeded in manipulating his own history (I wonder why Québec administration had not made more serious researches about him!).
Therefore, when the revelations came out, Claude Rapaille was even more the center of attention and his reputation got ruined… forever.

He should now think about a carrier re-orientation… I mean even if he computes a strong and intelligent study about some marketing aspect, who will believe a liar? Anyone who searches “Claude Rapaille” on google.ca will find degrading articles and hostile opinions about the man. You can not manipulate everything you want, especially when on the net. Unfortunately Clotaire, you do not choose meticulously all the traces you leave.

Well, he at least wins one point in the story: by getting the contract with Quebec city, Mr. Rapaille showed he was a true marketer.. he truly knew how to sell himself.

4 Jean-Francois Monfette April 7, 2010 at 9:25 am

I think that Clotaire Rapaille really failed marketing by his resume falsifications. It’s too bad because I think Québec could really have used some help in rebranding itself.
He seems pretty well respected in the field. He explains the secret of sales success in the brand new April edition of INC Magazine : http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100401/the-secret-of-sales-success.html , which is an amazing -must read- magazine for anyone interested entrepreneurship and business.

5 Carol Chevereau April 7, 2010 at 9:34 am

In my opinion, Rapaille is failing marketing.

In making sure that people believes marketing is magic, a lot of people not passioned by markeitng are going to go do that specialization for the wrong reasons. So what could be the long term repercussions ? maybe in the work field there will be a mass of not-interested or deceived-expectations persons that will work in this field.

On the other hand, maybe he is giving to opportuny to people that would never have thought of entering this field to maybe go to a business to do that.

Anyway, in a not specific way, I think he is exploting people by setting himself as something as is not.

6 Alexandra April 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

I think that Clotaire Rappaille failed marketing.

Actually, I still don’t understand why a person like him, who is considered a marketing Guru, would falsify his curriculum vitea to be hired. As a result, I made a brief research, and thanks to my friend Google, I found out this very interesting article by the Montreal Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Quebec+mayor+sacks+French+marketing+whiz+being+failure/2743010/story.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3a+canwest%2fF297+(The+Gazette+-+News)
We found out that Clotaire Rappaille lied about the field of his doctorate and his client list. He even came up with some souvenirs about the 2nd world war (although he was only 2), to prove his attachment to Quebecers. By looking at the way he tells all the stories, I wonder if he truly believes it…if not, he really knows how to sell himself!

7 Lea Racioppi April 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

Clotaire Rapaille is definitely failing marketing in some way.

It is in fact important to know how to sell yourself to the companies you want to work for which is, I guess, what he tried to do through an unethical way.

Nevertheless, to go against the opinion of every one of you, I will develop in what terms he also feeds marketing because in some way, saying that Clotaire Rapaille fails marketing is like saying that the economical crisis and crazy traders failed Finance as though people still put their money in banks and funds (same as pointing out the sportsmen who take illicit products, but it doesn’t keep people from watching sports).

This story and huge contract still show that there is a room for consulting in marketing and especially anthropological marketing in companies and society.
Also, thanks to his doctrines and his famous work, a lot of people will be able to work in this area and also, in probably a year or two this story will be forgotten and won’t have any effect on the field (maybe just his identity).

Although, I can’t come across the fact the Council of Quebec city is hiring people for 300 000$ without doing a background check.

This said, Clotaire Rapaille will still be paying the price of such lies which is, in my opinion, something quite normal as when you play with the boundaries of ethics at a very high price, sometimes you lose and you have to pay the price of it.

8 Alice Flourent April 7, 2010 at 11:41 am

Clotaire Rapaille is definitely failing marketing.

At the moment of his hiring, he was feeding marketing by reinforcing marketing as you said it in the article. However, this discover is a real damage for marketing. Indeed, how will people take marketing seriously after this? Clotaire Rapaille weakens the image of marketing. You talked about magic… Illusionism can also be pronounced; it is the condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief. This definition is often referred, as marketing for people denigrating it and this is exactly what Clotaire Rapaille did! Marketing’s credibility, as Clotaire Rapaille’s one, is affected.
In order to restore marketing’s image, marketers have a lot of work to prove that marketing is not only magic but it can be a science, a human science.

Personal branding is a good way to promote oneself as long as some limits are not transgressed. We can wonder how a person like Clotaire Rapaille, who seems so smart, could think of falsify his curriculum vitae. The risks he took seem higher that the advantages he had from this.

9 Annie-Claude Lemay April 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Clotaire Rapaille is failing marketing by stripping it of all credibility.

Let’s not kid ourselves, as much as marketing is a branch that is very theoretical and book savvy, there is a large part of it that isn’t a given to all that study it. The art of persuasion and the ability to sell yourself or a product play a large part in the success of any marketer. Some have it more than others. Clotaire Rapaille definitely had this quality, but obviously used it wrongfully. What was he thinking? Bad enough he falsified his CV but he later proceeded to submitting it to a high rank of government. Not only was it stupid and shameful for him in the end but as shameful for the mayor of Quebec city who based himself on this man’s apparently known reputation without even checking his sources. Who hires someone for a 300 000$ contract without complete knowledge of who they are hiring? I guess it doesn’t really matter right? Because in the end, the good old tax payers are the ones who are insuring his yearly salary.

10 Jean-Francois Belisle April 7, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Thanks you all for your sublime comments. Here are some of my additional thoughts:

@Justine: I completely agree with your first two paragraphs. Concerning impression management, I would argue that “impression management” in itself is not bad, since it enhanced our personal branding like you clearly pointed out. However, what is more negatively perceived is narcissism, which is simply too much impression management, calibrating to the right dosage to not cross the line is an art for sure.

@Vicki: Nice comments. I agree that marketers are not perceived well by the overall population, some even say that marketers and lawyers are the most negatively perceived in a society, Clotaire’s firing is just putting some icing on the cake, poor us, let’s forget about it.

@Sybile: Nice comments too. Like you mentioned Clotaire is not Claude anymore without reasons, some may even say that he left France because he was forced to leave. However, at around 70 years old, I think it’s too late for re-orientation, maybe a new career as a magician is possible. Anyway, I still think he might get some new contracts in the US.

@JF: You raised an interesting point. How is Quebec connected to the rest of North America. Will he still be able to get new contracts in the US? My answer is definitely “yes”.

@Carol: Nice points you are making. Passion is always an important issue. Being passionate is a must in every discipline and giving a wrong impression about a discipline could influence some people career choices. Strangely, I think that Clotaire Rapaille is passionate by marketing, but he should revise some of his stories. At the beginning of his consulting project with Quebec City, we could feel the passion when he was talking.

@Alexandra: Thanks for your interesting link. These facts are funny and explained some reasons why I wrote this little post. However, I am just wondering how can someone think all these lies would not be researched by journalists? Anyway.

@Lea. Refreshing comments. I agree that some interesting workd by Rapaille such as the “The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do” should not be forgotten, the approach is interesting and still novel to some marketers.

@Alice. Interesting comments. As you said, “illusionism” is a word that many people unfamiliar with marketing pronounce. That’s quite sad and that reminds me all the conversations with non-marketers who thought “marketing = selling = bullshit”. Anyway.

11 Mathieu Pelletier April 7, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I think everyone of us can learn interesting lessons from Clotaire Rapaille.

This “case” definitively shows that he fed marketing. A simple question: Why was he hired to give Quebec an image makeover, getting a 300,000$ contract? At some point, he succeed with his personal branding. I found a really interesting article about personal branding that helps us to have a better understanding of why Clotaire Ripaille is worth 300,000$. This is an article from Dan Schawbel, titled “10 Ways Personal Branding Can Save You From Getting Fired” : http://mashable.com/2008/12/10/personal-branding-in-recession/

First of all, Clotaire succeed in positioning himself as the go-to-person for a specific skill. He established himself as an expert in this specific area and took advantage of it. He also gained self-confidence (a little too much, of course!) and rose to the occasion. A quote from the previous article explains the whole idea: ” Those who are confident in their own abilities, skills, internal network and the future, will survive and thrive during a period of economic struggle. If you see an opportunity, go and grab it.” Clotaire Ripaille is a very confident person and many people such as the Quebec city’s Mayor are attracted by this kind of confidence when they need help. Finally, he became so remarkable that complete strangers talk about him. Quebec city may have hired an other person for the job that nobody would have mind. The fact that everybody was talking about this man proves that Clotaire Ripaille became remarkable and this is an important aspect to build a personal brand.

Unfortunately, he lied about many things written in his resume and it affects his credibility on a big level. However, he’s feeding marketing, not with what he has done (or not), but with the way he’s bringing it to everybody. The biggest consequence to his lies, in my point of view, is the negative endorsement he got from Quebec City. As Dan Schawbel said, “You are the chief marketing officer for the brand called you, but what others say about your brand is more impactful than what you say about yourself.”

I think it would be a good idea to rename this article “11 Ways Personal Branding Can Save You From Getting Fired” and simply add two words to an eleventh way: Be Honest ;)

12 Luc Falempin April 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm

According to me Marketing is an Art. You must have good talents in many fields such as anthropology, sociology, economics and psychology to understand your market and become an “artist” of it.

Clotaire Rapaille is definitely failing marketing because he tried to sell himself, the artist, before selling his talents. He lied and forgot the principle of transparency which is going to kill lots of company in the near future. Indeed, thanks to the revolution of the Internet 2.0, every bad behaviours of a company, or employees of it, will get a big negative impact on the image of the firm.

Of course, C.Rapaille is a good speaker, he’s full of talents and ideas but apparently he has no ethics and so he cannot show the good marketing way to anyone, any city or any enterprise.

Interesting article by the way. I wish you a good continuation for your blog.

13 Sarah Abikhzir April 8, 2010 at 1:27 am

I completely agree when you said that marketing is not magic ! It’s our job to make things look kind of perfect and ideal but how we make it is based on data, strong analysis and strategy.

Clearly Clotaire Rapaille acted against moral and ethics which is above his own failure a very negative “advertising” for the marketing industry. Indeed, despites all our best efforts to try to get rid off the bad image about communication and creatives, those kinds of actions have an impact on all the professional in the domain.

As for the marketing on yourself, we do that all the times in daily life when someone is looking for a job, or trying to get a new contract, or just being on social network. However, pushing it too far is more than risky as you show it in your post and above all there is some limits that have to be respected. Which limits ? This is a question that marketers, bloggers and the consumers in general will have to figure out in the future.

Thank you for this post and see you Friday !

14 Cécile Paturet April 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

Personally, I also think Clotaire Rapaille is failing marketing, although my opinion is not so clearly cut.

Evidently, and as blogger Marie-Claude Ducas pointed out, the man did not measure the impact of his interventions nor the damages for his client.

Now isn’t that the first indication of his failure as a “marketer”?

Worst even, and that’s when the second sign kicks in, he did not measure the impact it would have on his personal image… And in those two aspects, Rapaille was unsuccessful.

However, and that’s where he did manage to show his “so-called” talent; he was able to create a buzz around this entire situation. Even more so, at the beginning, he had after all been able to sell himself to the city. And, undoubtedly, the man has some qualified experience in the field! But what I can’t seem to figure out is why he could not content himself with his already quite impressive background…

Does it mean that once you’re too deep in the “selling yourself” part, you can’t stop wanting more to prove yourself? As Sarah pointed out where is the limit?

15 Jean-Francois Belisle April 9, 2010 at 10:47 am

Hey, thank you all for these super comments:

@Annie-Claude. Like you mentioned, at the end of the day, journalists started to research who Clotaire Rapaille was really because mainly of the nature of the contract. Is that kind of contract that high? For high-end consultants, I would say no, expertise has a price. For any taxpayers, I would say yes? Journalists have acted in quest of a scoop but have also find a golden mine of false information. Good for the taxpayers, but bad for marketing.

@Mathieu. Really nice analogy to Dan Schawbel post on personal branding. I liked your analysis. Adding “honesty” as the eleventh point, could now refer to as “the Anti-Clotaire Rapaille Principle”. Great job.

@Luc. I like your link to Web 2.0. What has been done stays on the web. However, Google Caffeine that will soon be launched (it seems like I’m saying this same sentence since a year, but anyway) should in the future help individuals recover from failure. Let’s see if traces of this incident will be there a year from now.

@Sarah. Interesting point, so what’s the frontier of “impression management”, “narcissism” and “falsification”? I think these are concepts that need to be addressed in the near future. Nice question, this gives interesting food for thoughts.

@Cécile. The points you are raising are interesting. In more psychological terms, is continuous improvement of impression management conscious or not? What can you do about it, once the machine has started? Is your crowd naive or not?

16 Ninozka Marrder April 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Well I have two points of view on the behaviour of Mister Rapaille.

First, my own opinion based on my knowledge of marketing learned at HEC Montreal, I believe this “scientist” not just fed marketing but took it to its utmost limit. He applied the marketing basics of branding management (his own) to make its brand appealing to its costumer. In that sense he is feeding the field of marketing, but failing on an all the ethic aspects.

On another level, if I look at this situation through my closest friend point of view, I will have to say that Mister Rapaille completely failed marketing. He proved to all those people who already had a poor opinion of the marketing field, that marketers are liars and dodgy people. Hope my friends never find out about that or I’ll be victim of their mockeries for a long time.

Finally, I wish good luck to Mister Rapaille on his job research.

And to all my HEC colleagues, who will be graduating in a few weeks, have a great life!

17 Gigi Huynh April 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I will say it : It’s a epic fail.

He failed as a marketer, and it affect in a negative way the community of marketers. Yes, he had his success with many big names, but experience doesn’t always rule. In this situation, you can take a life time to build a reputation and a few minutes to destroy it.

Marketing is no magic trick. But, magic is something fascinating, because it’s something you’ve never seen and don’t understand at first. And I think a magician and his tricks, is like a marketer and his innovation and creativity. A magician has to practice and take time to execute his tricks, like a marketer has to analyze his market and calculate each marketing moves.

You never win a situation, because you have won. You win because you have worked hard for it. And in that case, Clotaire didn’t took it seriously as a marketer, and failed.

18 Jean Chochoy April 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm

First, I fully agree with many points explained above, and therefore the fact that obviously, Rapaille has failed in marketing.

A question came to my mind: perhaps after so many years studying people’s behavior, he began to like them?

I do not mean that everyone is a “liar” and wishes to swindle people, but simply that in an individualistic society, where self-image is important, many people cross the line between truth and falsehood to look better …
I think it is seen as a “common” thing, whether at a networking cocktail party or when preparing a CV, to embellish our professional skills, or even to lie by adding professional experiences, responsibilities or awards.
What surprise me, is to see how someone with a such background, and at an age where he no longer has anything to prove, had to lie about his experience … Does he have a complex with his career, at the point of having to lie?

We can also ask ourselves, if Quebec’s city, did not do worse than Raspaille in marketing? In fact, isn’t it unproductive, to reveal this swindle, for the city’s reputation, which has lost $ 300 000 by not checking the seriousness of those to whom it provides financial contracts, directly from Quebecois’s money?

19 Pascal Martineau April 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I dont’t like magicians. I’m pissed off to be ignorant of their tricks. There are a lot of types of magicians on earth. One of the typical one is the specialists. This type went to school for many years and is very intelligent. This type is also a hard-working type of magicians. Unfortunately, this type is sometimes known to be ridiculous and Clotaire Rapaille is a reason to that. Yes, he’s an intelligent man and he made a lot of things to put the marketing (in North America (and, by association, in Montreal – Marie-Agnès Parmentier is, by the way, a lady that I respect a lot )) on the map, but I totally agree to the fact that he’s a personnal branding failure.
To put some falsifications in his CV is one thing (personnal (bad) choice), but to put the credibility of an entire city like Quebec (who’s trying to rebuild a new reputation of glory and success since 2008) is a shame. This «magician» is actually a living failure. Maybe Mr. Labeaume should have hired Alain Choquette instead of this thief. At least, we could have applause the disparition of his assistant (is it possible to suggest Clotaire Rapaille as an assistant?), by following the rules and the ethic code by the book.
R.I.P., marketing failure- – > http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/Quebec/2010/03/28/001-Rapaille-CV.shtml
Rapaille is a «racaille».

20 Yannick Sanchez April 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm

This is a very interesting debate ! JF, you may reach a new posts record on your blog !

After reading all those comments, the first thing that comes to my mind is that we all used a Marketing prism to judge Clotaire Rapaille’s fact (or failure, call it as you want).

Is Rapaille’s action really meaningful for the Marketing field ? Or is it part of the kind of news we could find about stars like Brad Pitt and Aniston or Carla and Sarkozy (strange analogy I must admit) ?

I am not sure we are putting things into the right context.

Lies have always been perceived as negative and I have never seen a profession saying clearly in its code of ethics : « lies could sometimes be acceptable ». So, obviously, Clotaire failed, and he failed on a very important subject.

So now, what is the impact for the Marketing field ?

Brand ourselves ? We all do that. politicians (to be elected), scientists (to get funds), writers (to get an audience), teachers (to get funds, have its own chair, sorry JF), students (to get good grades). And please, give me an opportunity to make my own advertising :

You guys can visit my blog, I recently posted an article about the personal branding : http://maquetespirituelle.blogspot.com/

That being said, there are researchers that work hard to go deeper into some subjects. Clotaire Rapaille is one of them. If you never had a look to some of its work, you can take a look to that interview :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUwMTsSXzo0

Finally, I would say that I am pretty sure this won’t affect Marketing too long. Rapaille may have already found another job. And as someone said after the Chinese government repression against Tibetans (just before the Beijing olympic games in 2008), the problem with medias and its impact is that information has an expiration date.

Yannick

PS : if you’re interested to some good illusionism, enjoy Gary Kurtz’s show in Montreal : http://www.billets.ca/spectacle/gary-kurtz/?gclid=CJ_wiaaJhKECFSJ25Qod9igVwg/

21 Stephen Michetti April 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Well JF, let me tell you that the first time I ever heard of Clotaire Rapaille was on some online documentary exploring the evolution of marketing and how individuals like him grow to literally becoming gurus.
In the documentary experts from all fields would gather at his mansion in order to get the slightest spark of creativity, as chickens rush around a farmer’s kind handing of seeds. It was quite impressive. How could a single human being be so inspiring through his commercial ideas that all the people in the room would just focalize on him – gaping. It obviously must mean that, as you mentioned, his messages source from actual grounded reasoning that enables his listeners to wrap their head around and then reapply. However, going further as a guru he must also have the tendency to have his concepts flirt with inexplicable phenomena which must bewilder his audience and thus make him seem as such an iconic figure.
At his own game, with the episode of Quebec, he must most probably carried out one of his own experiments. His background as anthropologist must have lured him into seeing how far his aura could open him doors in a society that primarily operates in screening people through CVs… or even having a blind eye before those that have a “reputation”. Maybe he was trying to make a point or see the limit of his self-branding. In any case, what’s certain is that his integrity as marketer won’t be put at stake, especially not by an “incident located in Quebec”. His sphere of influence is grander and with his eloquence and wit, he will most probably spin this whole thing into something positive. It may even be something that will help him better understand the limits of self-branding, thus help him expand marketing knowledge.

22 Guilhem April 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I keep hearing this over and over again, PERSONAL BRANDING here & PERSONAL BRANDING there! Raspail is another (bad) example… PLEASE STOP PERSONAL BRANDING… STOP… You shouldn’t publish stuff to build your personal brand. In my opinion, personal branding is the new cliché and is overrated as it often highlights superficial strengths for selfish gain. In order to truly differentiate yourself, which is what branding is, make what you do about others. So stop boasting with your successes and get working on cool stuff -which gonna help the community-!

23 Yann Le Guellaut April 27, 2010 at 11:29 am

One of my favorite quotes is : “The Magic of Marketing, The Science of Sales, The Art of Partnership”. I learned it by Pierre Trudel, my consumer behaviour profesor in HEC Montreal. (http://bit.ly/adRLm7)

This simple definition is containing every points you made here. You were right by saying that Marketing is a Science, I challenge everyone to try to save a company and increase its sales without changing anything on your product without have following some consumer behaviour curses. Marketers are not throwing money on the drain all the time, some marketing strategic decisions can be made and offer excellent results without spending a single penny. as a matter of fact, we, marketers, are not carpet sellers but educated people about an evolutive science such as Marketing.

In my view, Clotaire Rapaille is falling marketing because he is giving me a bad name, even some Marketing assets can be understood by neophytes, for sure Clotaire must have experimented and learn a lot about marketing science but it is not giving him the right to decorate his curriculum vitae with fake lines. No one would be teated by a fake doctor.

Finnaly, to treat about the magic part of my favorite quote, I think that everyone need to know that magic does not exists. If it doesn’t, why Criss Angel is such famous ? I think that Criss Angel is pretty appreciated to be liked because he has an amazing command of ilusionism and, like Marketing, that’s a know-how, not magic powders.

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