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How Traditional Branding is Killing the Web

Everything you are now about to read is fictional. Most real customers couldn’t be bothered writing to organizations to vent their annoyance. They just leave. 

Customer: Hello, I visited your site interested in getting a price for your product. Couldn’t find any pricing info. Instead, there were these huge images that took ages to load.”
Organization: Dear customer, Sorry you didn’t find any information on pricing. That’s because we don’t publish any. And the images are part of our branding campaign. Have a nice day.”

Customer: Your site is impossible to navigate and you don’t even have search. I was considering buying from you but not any more more.”
Organization: Dear customer, Sorry to hear about your frustrations. In fact, we do have a search. It’s called The Everything Finder. Our branding expert said that “search” was too common a word and that The Everything Finder would give our customers a more unique experience. Have a nice day.

Customer: Your content is awful. All marketing gibberish blah blah blah about going further and expanding horizons and deepening engagements. I want detail. I wanted to find out how to install the product and couldn’t find anything.
Organization: Dear customer, sorry you couldn’t find installation information. We keep that technical stuff in the support site which you will require a login to access. And the marketing content is part of our branding campaign to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace and develop deeper, more intimate and more emotional relationships with our customers. Have a nice day.

Customer: Don’t you ever stop talking about yourselves? Your Twitter feed is just a press release propaganda machine. You never reply to customers who tweet with questions, as far as I can see. And your Facebook is just some ego-fest for your senior managers. Don’t you do anything useful on the Web?
Organization: Dear customer, sorry to hear you feel so frustrated. Our social media strategy is part of our overall branding strategy which seeks to enhance engagement and show a human face to our customer. We’re all flesh and blood in here, just like you. Our senior managers do strive so hard to make your life better that we felt it appropriate that you be able to admire how handsome and customer-centric they are. Have a nice day.

Customer: No, I don’t want to download your bloody app. I came to your website using my mobile phone; all I wanted was your address, and I couldn’t do anything because you demanded that I download your stupid app. I don’t want your stupid app. I want your stupid address. Not anymore. You just lost a customer.
Organization: Dear customer. Sorry you didn’t want to download our app. It’s really quite useful. As a major brand we feel that we must have an app and we feel that our customers’ lives will be very much enhanced by such an app. It’s part of our overall branding strategy which is about simplifying the lives of our customers. We hope you understand that in order for us to simplify your life you must download our app. Have a nice day.

Customer: I went to your homepage and all that’s there is a huge picture of a happy family. What’s that got to do with anything?
Organization: Dear customer! You don’t get it do you? It’s about branding!!!

About the Author

Gerry McGovern, a content management author and consultant, has spoken, written and consulted extensively on writing for the web and web content management issues since 1994. His latest book is titled The Stranger's Long Neck: How to Deliver What Your Customers Really Want Online.

 
 
 
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