If there's one thing that makes me crazy, it's marketing that is inconsistent from element to element. In fact, consistency is one of the key tenants to my book "The Experience Effect." A brand can't deliver a great experience if it's not consistent at each interaction.
Which is why I personally had a very frustrating morning the other day.
As I was walking to work, and I walked by the same Pret A Manger that I pass every day (if you are not familiar with the brand it's a small little breakfast/lunch shop). I rarely go in, don't know why, but it's just not in my consideration set.
Well this particular morning I noticed a billboard on the street in front of the restaurant advertising their oatmeal. Steel cut oatmeal. And on top of the bowl of oatmeal was a huge raspberry and a huge blueberry. Well I love my oatmeal and I love raspberries and blueberries -- so I just had to stop in.
The place was empty, so I walked right up to the counter and ordered oatmeal with raspberries and blueberries. The woman looked at me like I was crazy.
"We don't have that," she said to me in total confidence.
"Well you have a big sign outside that says that you do, " I replied in total confidence.
"No we don't," she replied, "All we have is brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins."
The conversation continued to the point where I quickly figured out that I was only going to get oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins -- and in fact I HAD to have all three of those ingredients, even if I didn't want them all.
I gave in and bought it anyway -- and of course it all tasted terrible because at this point the experience had been so awful. I was so bummed. That billboard got me so craving my oatmeal that it set me up for even greater disappointment.
Just to make sure I wasn't crazy, on the way out I double checked and sure enough, there was the sign with oatmeal and a raspberry and a blueberry on top. There is nothing I hate more than inconsistent marketing -- it makes the brand nothing short of disappointing.
What's your experience? Jim.