June 13, 2013
A message from Verizon today went something like this: We apologize for the occasional outages on your Verizon land line, and would like to take this opportunity to upgrade you to our more reliable digital phone service. Let’s see if I got this right: The best reason you can come up with for selling me on your new service is that your existing one stinks? That’s the “reason to believe”? The big differentiator? The compelling brand value? Your BEST promise?!
The truth is that I’ve never experienced an outage on my Verizon land line. And I think they know that. I can picture a bevy of brand strategists around a table brainstorming about how to up-sell land line customers before they go elsewhere. After an hour playing with pipe cleaners and Play-Doh, one says: “I got it! Let’s demean our brand, our existing service suite and our customer as a way to motivate the behavior we want!”
The most amazing thing about this strategy is that it ever found its way off a Post-It note.