I was in this disgusting bathroom stall, holding my breath and trying to pee as fast as I could so I could escape the rotting stench of the room. In the middle of hurriedly pulling up my pants, I paused. A piece of graffiti caught my eye:
"We’re told to go to school for a better future, but ALL THEY WANT IS OUR MONEY!"
I stomped my foot and screamed: “THAT’S RIGHT! They are all after our money!”
Today, divorce rates between married couples are increasing.
Today, divorce rates between brands and consumers are increasing.
Not only are married couples experiencing dissatisfaction, incompatibility, and/or disloyalty, but so are brands and their consumers.
The question is: is this actually a result of a shift in society’s mindset, or is are these two trends unrelated…one being purely a human-to-human relationship problem, and the other a problem that lies in ineffective advertising?
No matter what the real answer is, the important thing to think about is: A brand strives to have a long-lasting relationship — one that is mutually beneficial, still sparking after 30 years — with its consumers. Shouldn’t we begin looking at what creates a successful, long-lasting, happy, romantic marriage?
If we discover what makes a marriage successful in today’s high divorce rate society, can we apply that finding to creating a successful relationship between a brand and its consumers?
Because, isn’t it all the same principles? Listen to each other, figure out how to improve and better serve each other. Surprise your significant other with a gift every so often to show your love and appreciation.
If brands strive to have a personal relationship with their consumers, isn’t it pretty straight forward that we should just follow the basic rules of marriage, rather than figuring out theories and models?
This was her third time, and it was only ten o’clock on a Monday morning. This time, her vision began to blur, and her face began to tingle, as she felt her blood quickly drain away from her head. Jane threw both of her arms out, slowly inching them down the sides of the stall, lowering herself onto the toilet seat, focusing all her energy on pressing her palms against the stall walls. Jane’s head fell down, hanging limp between her shoulders.
The last time she felt so sick was the night of Sam’s 21st birthday. Eleven years ago. But this beat even that night. This felt as if someone had shoved a large, raw sponge down her throat, and it was expanding and forcing its way back up through her esophagus.
Ok, get up. Jane said to herself. Get up, Jane. Get up, and don’t forget to smile. Jane took a deep breath, summoned all her energy and squeezed her eyelids shut to overcome the vertigo. Two large practice smiles, and Jane stepped out of the stall. “How are you, Miss Leroy?” asked Monica, the cleaning lady.
“I’m doing well, Monica! Doing well. How about you?” As Jane washed her hands, she leaned in towards the mirror to make sure her eyes were smiling the same forced smile.
“I’m good too.”
“Good good. I’ll see you around.”
“Ok, Miss Leroy. Have a good day.”
“You too, Monica.”
Jane could only think of two possibilities. She was either pregnant or sick, but neither was possible because the last time she had even gone on a date was ten years ago, and just yesterday her doctor said her health was in the top decile.
"The problem, according to Holt, is that corporate brand managers are typically MBAs who know all about revenue projections, returns on investment, media costs-per-point and such, but not a damn thing about the stories and life experiences that actually compel people to buy. What’s more, the methods they use to understand consumers are equally flawed by rational theories that reduce everything to numbers that can be entered into an Excel spreadsheet and summarily analyzed with the click of a mouse, just like Ben Stiller’s ultimately futile effort to use an actuarial risk-model computer program to figure out whether his life partner should be Debra Lessing or Jennifer Aniston in last year’s movie Along Came Polly.”