Blind Spot: How exceeding expectations may not be all it's cracked up to be
Just when you think you get it, something happens that changes everything. I’m no stranger to a little home improvement and moving into a new house a couple of months ago has spurred more than a few impulsive purchases, as my dwindling funds will testify. So how does a late night, Malbec-fueled decision to buy a bunch of wooden blinds online, cause me some anxiety about the process of developing great brands – a process that I and my colleagues have spent years exploring?
Well I guess it starts with the online purchase of 6 new, white wooden blinds for various rooms in my abode. I’d dismissed, on the basis of cost, having a local firm come by and give me the works and a bill to match. And hacking down Ikea blinds to fit non-standard Victorian windows was something that I’d done once too many times before. So after a tip off from a web-savvy colleague, and a fistful of measurements, I immersed myself into the world of ‘me too’ online blind manufacturers. I can’t tell you why I opted for one over the other but choice and price were clearly part of the story. That was Sunday evening, Tuesday morning they arrived. Tuesday night they were up. How can that be possible? And they looked great. And they fit. And it was easy. And I told everyone. It’s a brand man’s dream.
But is it?
Re-trace my steps and what do we have. A firm that can deliver good products in almost near-impossible times. A process that in itself is reliant on stripping away any perception of craft or tailoring or expertise and whilst the products are really good, where do they go with me? My next order arrived in the afternoon, not in the morning like before and do you know, I was actually a little disappointed. The ‘d’ word so early on into a beautifully promising relationship. And there in is the problem. Moredirectthanadirectthingblindsdotcom might have a proposition that is about expedient delivery, but in the fickle world of internet shopping, is that enough? After all, my decision to choose them had little to do with anything and even now I have to pump in at least three attempts into Google before I find them again. Shopping by Brownian Motion.
But in the meantime, I and my clients and my clients’ clients continue to believe in the myth that crafted and uniquely produced ideas and products or services can be delivered in inconceivable periods of time and by processes and not by experts. That’s not good for a brand man. And not good for brands. Where does my blind maker go from here? Will he be utilising the same absurd notion of drone delivery that Amazon have been touting as the behemoth's logistics vision of the future? 36 minute delivery down from 36 hours? Maybe. And if that works, good luck trying to stand out from all of the other blindsinsixtyminutesdotcom looky-likey sites.