Advertising and Experience-Where is the cool?
Is a high voltage, highly creative, slickly executed ad (digital, print, TVC) campaign enough for a brand that seeks to create a strong emotional bond?
There are many examples out there, but let me pick a recent one; Vespa– The iconic Italian scooter manufacturer and their global “Do you Vespa” campaign.
Here is the thing. Vespa does not sell its scooters on the basis of any functional fulfillment. No talk on mileage/economy, kmpl, no horsepower discussions, no zipping through hopeless situations in the blink of an eye.
Vespa sells on attitude, on being “cool”.
Their history and their design language emphasize this.
For a scooter manufacturer with a 1% market share in India, at a price point that is 45% higher than the competition with no known functional advantage to hammer home, emotional connect is the right way to go.
But can that emotional connect be solely created on the back of advertising, however sexy it maybe?
High consistent functional fulfillment at critical touchpoints is at the root of all emotional connect.
Vespa dealerships are examples of this “touchpoint dissonance”. Dealers do not connect with the perceived “coolness” of brand Vespa. They still sell with a different grammar. Post-sales challenges commence from registration of the vehicle to lack of efficient service and spare availability.
Lest this is seen as a commentary on a specific brand, this is a very common occurrence across many brands in the country. We are all geared up to sell, but God forbid should something go wrong with the product or service we purchased.
The result, customers experience a significant gap, between what brands promise in their communication and what these customers experience in their day to day interactions with these brands.
For customers in such scenarios, advertising is thus seen as what the brand aspires to be. In contrast, her day to day experience with the brand is what she perceives as the brand’s current reality.
Ironically the more successful the campaign the wider this chasm appears.
Hoping for an emotional connect with customers on the basis of what you promise to be tomorrow instead of what you are today is never going to be easy.
Aligning critical touchpoints to reflect the brand promise, therefore, takes on a huge significance.
Should not your people, processes and touchpoint attitude reflect the “cool”?
P, S: All Images are the property of Piaggio S.A, and are used for illustrative purposes only.