Brand Love Hurts

When a brand or company goes to great efforts to seduce you, woo you and make marketing love to you …  you will feel special, desired and will hopefully have a fantastic feeling about their product.  Whether it’s the extravagant packaging of your perfume that is so stylish and luxurious you feel great just having it on your shelf, let alone wearing it. Or the surf shop that plays awesome music and is staffed by gorgeous people who help you find the perfect boardies that are “just so completely you”.  Or even the beautiful boutique hotel, which has chosen the perfect beach-front location, which is decorated to such a spectacular level of finish it exudes style and makes you feel special just by being there.   A lot of effort is often (not always) exerted to make you feel connected to a product or brand … but what happens when those feelings get hurt?

I have to confess I have been let down recently … by a pizza (an expensive pizza).  Twice actually.  This particular establishment is perfect for sundowners, you sit right by the sea, the decor is unique and incredible, plus the service is exemplarily.  You do pay for this luxury (they have a number of stars after their name), however it is still my favourite place to go …  but, they can’t get a simple pizza right.  In fact they get it spectacularly wrong.

But how far would your favourite brand, shop or restaurant have to go before they push you away?  How spectacularly would they have to let you down before you fall out of love?

For me, this particular hotel is still my favourite drinks and dinner venue, they still have a customer … I just won’t order a pizza.   A Seth Godin blog about “What’s expected vs. what’s amazing” springs to mind … on my first visit, this establishment amazed me, which was not expected.  But now I expect that level of “amazing-ness” on every visit, after all, if they can do it the first time, why not the third, fifth or hundredth?  The pizza didn’t amaze, but it’s not all about pizza, the service and surroundings were still exceptional.  They definitely tick all the other boxes.  When a company has worked so hard to wow, and is still trying to tick those boxes, then I can say “hey, not everyone’s perfect, what’s a dodgy pizza between friends”.

How understanding a consumer are you though? How far can you be pushed by the brands you love?   In a market full of choice and options, we can afford to shop around and it is not unreasonable to expect companies to go above and beyond to get and, more importantly, keep our attention.  But when we find our favourite hotel, boardies, and perfume; when we settle down; when we fall in brand love … please don’t push us away.