First off, a reply was received within one hour of the request being e-mailed, and went:
Thank you for sending us the below request. I will review the details and will revert back to you with feedback soon. Kind Regards! Sharon Marais A few days later my colleague received a final response: Good Day Lindiz We thank you for considering Footgear with your request, however we are unable to assist at this time due to other commitments.
We wish you all the best, going forward. Kind Regards! Sharon Marais
Both companies ultimately turned down the request but the key difference was in the manner the communication was handled.
My colleague – a lifelong wearer of adidas tracksuits and sneakers – has vowed not to buy this brand again simply because of the poor attitude and response of the staff he dealt with.
Footgear, on the other hand, despite also not being in a position to help, made a wonderful and lasting impression. So kudos to them and their team.
There is a lesson in here for all those marketing and PR types – one of the best and most effective ways to market your products/services is to treat people with dignity and respect.