January 24, 2007

Your Expectations For A Brand

Friend of MineThatData Chris Baggott tells of his displeasure with Best Buy and their rewards program.

At Hee-Haw Marketing, Paul has an ongoing issue with the sloppiness of a Kohl's store.

John Moore at Brand Autopsy concludes that if Gap went out of business, it would be ok with him.

What is your tolerance level for a brand, before it slips into the 'criticism zone'? When are you willing to forgive a brand, and how many mistakes are required before you throw a brand under the bus?


  1. My tolerance level depends mostly on the consistency of the brand, as well as how well the brand satisfies my needs. Let me elaborate with a restaurant as an example:

    I used to like Don Pablo's restaurants. Once upon a time (8-10 years ago), the atmosphere was fun and busy, the made-on-the-premises tortillas and chips were tasty, and the service was fast. After having gone to that restaurant at least a few dozen times, I came to expect these things with their brand. My personal, unarticulated needs were speediness (it's a patience issue on my part), attentiveness by the waitstaff (some degree of selfishness), and reasonably-priced, tasty food--all of which, they satisfied.

    Over the past 6-7 years, I had gone to two separate Don Pablo's in the Pittsburgh market at least 4-5 times, and every single time, the chips were cold, the dinner took close to 2 hours (entirely unacceptable, even for someone with patience), and the waitstaff wouldn't even pass by our table to refill beverages. It necessitated my writing the company to ask them what's their problem. Their response? Nothing. Nada. Don Pablo's evidently did not care about a consumer who cared enough to write them. Their brand became inconsistent and ultimately didn't fulfill my unarticulated needs--nor did they care to explain to me that they were righting their ship. At that point, I abandoned their brand (~2-3 years ago).

    By the way, thanks for the blog--I read it regularly.

  2. Thanks for reading the blog, I appreciate it!

    These days, we consumers just aren't very forgiving. The way you described your thought process seems reasonable to me.

    Since all humans make mistakes, and brands are full of humans, our experiences are bound to be less than perfect.


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