My grown-up son introduced me to Disney's "The Muppets", a movie so gloriously funny, IMHO, that it is wasted on children.See this short video for an example.
However, the song, "Am I a man or muppet" reminds me of something darker.
Over the last few years I have heard of certain banks and investment houses talking about their customers as "muppets" and utility companies describing those who switch suppliers to get a cheaper commodity deal as "tarts". Such labels are insulting, of course.
Who sets the value on what we offer? Is it not the customer? We may try to place value on our offering, but ultimately it is the customer who determines that value.
More than that, the labels are indicators of a cynical culture. Customers at best as a means to an end, at worst, powerless stakeholders to be manipulated. This is dangerous. Such cultures hold the seeds of their own destruction. Denigrating the customer ultimate destroys the organisation itself. Towards the latter years, such language was used within Lehman Brothers and Enron. Who are the muppets now?
See this excellent illustration from Daniel Goleman of valuing the customer in the innovation process. Holding the customer is such high regard is highly motivational as well as driving financial health.
So we should all be careful of parodying or deriding our value creators, our customers. We could find ourselves biting the hand that feeds us.
Value your customer, and she or he will return the favour.