August 26, 2015

Authentic And Meaningful Relationships

Chief Merchant is hosting a webinar about how the Atlanta Falcons. One of the sentences is particularly meaningful ... "where brands are creating authentic and meaningful relationships." More on that in a moment.

Let's look at Atlanta's record the past two seasons:
  • 2013 = 4 wins, 12 losses.
  • 2014 = 6 wins, 10 losses.
In other words, the merchandise is failing. The team has won 31% of their games over the past two seasons ... following five consecutive highly successful, winning seasons. That's a difficult transition ... anybody who loves a sports team knows what this feels like (#notgood).

So, the case study ad suggests you'll learn how to connect the dots and get customers through the customer journey to the on-site experience. Heck, IBM & the Falcons may have done a great job using technology, right? Who knows? And Chief Marketer may put on a great webinar that is helpful. All could be true.

But there is a problem.

The process they are going to talk about, of course, ends with the realization that fans were not given a great experience, on two fronts.
  1. The team (merchandise) was horrible.
  2. Fake crowd noise (click here) was pumped into the stadium to make the experience seem more authentic and exciting. Atlanta was fined by the NFL and had draft choices taken away for the infraction. The in-game experience was astroturfed (i.e. faked).
The webinar offers the following premise:
  • From the text for the webinar: "Fans and your customers are moving from a series of disjointed brand experience “moments” and are starting to expect a completely integrated experience “system” – where brands are creating authentic and meaningful relationships."
The webinar uses the Atlanta Falcons as a case study of fulfilling an authentic and meaningful customer relationship - but the organization in the case study used technology to drive customers to an in-game experience where the Falcons created a non-authentic environment by faking crowd noise.

This is the stuff our industry partners ask us to believe in.

Focus on making sure that your customers love your merchandise.