A recent article in Businessweek, titled “Nobody Cares How Awesome You Are at Your Job” made an interesting point on trust between a company and an individual, that while failing to deliver on a promise is upsetting, over-delivering on a promise made little difference to individuals than simply meeting expectations. This could have a dramatic implications for a brand.
Many companies pride themselves on going above and beyond and surprising their consumers with their over the top experiences. I recently went to a presentation by the San Diego Padres marketing team who stated that this was the basis for their marketing strategy to season ticket holders; to occasionally provide extraordinary events to “wow” them and remind them how great it is to hold season tickets. But, if what this article is saying is true then this might be a misplaced allocation of resources.
Instead of only promising the season tickets, a package that would have the individual receive tickets to a certain number of home games, the Padres could re-orient their sales pitch to include all of the social events, and perks that are to be delivered so that the customer knew *exactly* what they were getting, and then to be impressed that every event is done exceptionally well. No one expects services to go above and beyond, and according to the article, no one gets credit for it either.
Alternatively, being all too literal on this can be negative. I once ordered a “grilled cheese” at a restaurant. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I received a plate of gooey and oily cheese, sans bread. Market products and services as they are based on customers expectations. This may require going out and finding what customers expect when they purchase from your brand. For instance different clothing stores need to offer different retail experiences because of the customers expectations (or fulfilling the promise that has been made by the brand). One is not satisfied coming out of Brooks Brothers with a flimsy plastic bag as they might be coming out of Marshalls. Ensuring the brand’s promise is understood by both the consumer and the marketer is key to ensuring satisfaction. If one has extra resources they should invest it in making the promise bigger and better, not in random surprises and providing something the consumer didn’t expect.
Article can be found here.