Several years ago, while moving into a new-to-me condo, I literally gutted the 25 year old kitchen and replaced cabinets, lighting and appliances with all things new. I did some serious shopping for appliances and settled on a particular brand known for its reliability-at least that’s what the television and print ads said.
So reliable, in fact, that the company (supposedly) laid off some of its repair staff, because they weren’t needed. Though not true, it at certainly made for good ad copy.
Turns out that there have been two recalls on my appliances (both handled very professionally, by the way) and several other obvious defects. The simple truth is what the company said about it’s products was quite different from my actual experience.
I’m not mad or angry about this. In fact, I find it sort of funny that I was taken in by what I heard. Next time, I’ll do some research on repair histories and, hopefully, make a better choice.
I was reminded of this when I heard from a coworker that an important package wouldn’t be delivered today, a national holiday. The person made some very convincing arguments about this. But at some level, that just didn’t seem right. Here’s why…
On Friday, when I placed the online order for 25 books-something I’ve done dozens of times in the past-I was told they’d be delivered on Monday, January 19. I’d grown accustomed to very dependable service from this company, so I never doubted the delivery promise–holiday or not.
Fast forward…the books were delivered, as promised.
What’s the learning here? For me, it’s about how we experience things. On one hand, the appliance company promised reliability but my experience ran counter to that. What they said didn’t really matter. On the other hand, the internet company just asked a simple question, “Want it delivered tomorrow, click here” and did what they said. I never doubted it.
There’s an important lesson about personal branding here, I thought. Do I follow through? Consistently? Ouch. Can always do better, that’s for sure.