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A Note on a Windshield

September 9, 2009

Recently, a family member of mine found the rear end of his truck mangled in a store parking lot. Although still angry, he breathed a sigh of relief when he saw a note on his windshield.

Upon opening the note, he saw these words:

“Sorry about your car. Someone saw me hit it, and I’m just writing this note so they’ll think I’m leaving you my information.”

My immediate reaction was probably similar to yours—“Who would do that?”

Then it got me to thinking. Isn’t that how so many brands make a mistake? While focusing only on their image and appearances, they fail to consider that what is on the inside of the package (or written on the note) must also live up to the brand promise. The product has to match the image. That’s what builds trust in a brand.

If a product doesn’t match the image, it deteriorates consumers’ trust. In addition to being disappointed in the product, it makes consumers even more upset that they fell for the marketing.

As marketers, we remind our clients of this balance that must exist to avoid damaging the brand. As consumers, we appreciate companies whose products match the marketing.

So, we’d like to hear your thoughts. Which brands are getting it right, and which ones have, well, …left a fake note on your windshield?

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