• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

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It’s the brand of the Privileged: Philly preppies as drug lords.

There are many reasons the story about how a group of privileged teens in one of Philadelphia’s main line private schools decided to create a business by selling drugs. The drugs themselves are an indication of lack of direction, but there is more going on here. Breaking the law, distributing all manner of drugs and pretending it is a real business is a deeper societal issue.

It is a reflection of the brand of the privileged.

There are untold thousands of stories, both reported and ignored, of drug busts in the poorest neighborhoods in major US cities. HBO made an entire series about it with The Wire. Somehow, in economically depressed areas where opportunities seem so limited, it is less shocking that young people might decide that running drugs is a way out. I’m not condoning the practice, mind you. I’m merely saying the temptation is understandable. But these kids? Well, it seems that more is never enough.

Brand of the privilegedWe see the brand of privileged in all manner of expression in our society today. Its basic premise is, because I am wealthy and privileged, society’s rules don’t apply to me. The kids in this drug bust see the world as a harmless game with no ramifications and no accountability. They are not bored. They are boring. They lack direction and believe that, because of their family’s position, they all have a get out of jail free card and a right to collect $200 every time they pass Go.

If they get a speeding ticket, mom and dad hire a lawyer and all is forgiven. Failing classes at an expensive school is harder to accomplish than failing in a public school simply because the relationship between the school and pupil is a bit different. The teachers work for the students and the students expect great grades at an expensive school.

These privileged thugs learned some important lessons about business, supply/demand and incentive-based economics. Isn’t it too bad they learned nothing about ethics and cause & effect?

It’s a crime when you think about it.

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