Nandish had started a product manufacturing firm. He was very particular about the design of his office interiors. His visiting card, envelope, letterhead etc were perfect. He took a lot of pain to finalize on the logo and the signboard. His product catalog was shown as an excellent example of creativity and class.
Nandish gave the same instructions when his web site was being designed. He ensured to make it immaculate. It was truly world-class. He gave the same attention to the design of his advertisements or any communication. He also ensured that the packaging of his product was at par with the best in the world of their category of products.
“The images of our organization and our product must be immaculate,” he always said. Anybody who would see these collaterals, would build a grand image in their mind about the organization they represented.
But, all this perfection in communication and presentation did not result into the acceptance of his products in the marketplace.
All his brands looked good, but did not sell good.
The excellence in designs did not result into an enthusiastic response from the customers.
His business was bleeding. Finally, he sought advise to find out what was going wrong.
It turned out that all the visual and verbal communication that the brand was making raised the expectation from the product. The packaging was world-class, so it was expected to deliver all that the world-class products in its category did. The perfection of the web site was not reflected in the perfect quality of the product. The advertisement promised excellence, but the behavior and service of his employees was sloppy, far from excellent. Customers did not like the experience of working with them.
All this needed modification. The product has to match with the promise the packaging makes. The verbal excellence of the advertisement must reflect in the enthusiasm of the employees. The class of the web site must be experienced by the customers.
This discrepancy resembles the contradiction we see between the quote we see on a T-shirt and its mismatch with the one who wears it.
T-shirt quotes come in all types. Some cute, some weird, some funny, some arrogant. Most of the times, the quote does not match with the body (or brain above) it covers. In rare cases, when it does, the quote speaks for the body and brain. And, vice versa. That is a superb combination.
All can easily find this conformity or the lack of it.
Anybody can buy a T-shirt with any grand slogan written on it. Anybody can get a world-class catalog, web site or packaging designed.
But, just as the emptiness of the head can’t be covered by a great quote on a T-shirt, the weakness in the brand can’t be concealed by a great design of packaging or communication.
A mismatched quote on a T-shirt can be ignored and smiled away, but similar mismatch between the product and its promise is generally not forgiven by the market.
Stink finds its way out. No matter how beautifully disguised.