I recently voyaged to one of my favorite hands-on testing grounds store BestBuy, but what I left with was a diminish in their brand value and trust. The events experienced were not new, but they were unnoticed in the past as in recent years my expectations in brands, customer-centric services, and brand experiences have changed a bit.
So, what happened? I needed an external hard drive since my measly laptop was under 1 gig of space. I went to BestBuy and bought a pretty nifty external Hard Drive that you basically just plug in via USB and your set to use. At the check out counter, the sales rep kept insisting that I have a GeekSquad service added to install it since there was a sticker on the box. I said no thanks, and she kept telling me about how much easier it would be to install etc. I told her that all I needed to do was plug it in. Then she said “oh, well I don’t even know what you are buying.” Right there and then, I lost my brand value and trust in BestBuy. First, they had a dumb sticker on a product that does not need a person to come help install it for $$$.(It’s like having a person come install a toaster at your house). Secondly, the person working and selling me the product did not even understand the product nor understand what I meant when I said hard drive.
For crying out loud, don’t hire people into your company that don’t understand the products you are selling. I’m not just ranting at BestBuy, but there are many other brands that have employees that don’t have a clue to what the company does. Yes, I know it cost more to hire people that breathe your brand, but I’m guessing it cost more money to re-market your brand value to customers that have had a bad experience. Good things are easy to forget and bad experiences are never forgotten. I’ll stop my ranting here, but BestBuy, take for example some kick-butt brands like Jetblue, Wholefoods, Patagonia, or TraderJoes; they get it, their employees do it, and their customers know, experience, and live their brands like a religion. Brands are truthful users experiences today, not just portrayed over-marketed lifestyles anymore. We live the digital age…we ignore ads, research deeply, and leave nothing hidden.