I was in Staples recently, looking at a shelf that didn’t have exactly the product I needed. So, while standing in the aisle at Staples, I called Office Max.
The Office Max clerk put me on hold to check availability for the product I wanted. Suddenly, I heard a very strange acoustic resonance, noticing that the music my left ear was hearing from the speakers at Staples was the same thing my right ear was hearing in my phone, from the music-on-hold at Office Max. A coincidence? No … the song ended and the next song came on, in both of my ears. Staples and Office Max were using the exact same music source.
I looked in our office closet the other day and noticed that we had paper from Office Max, Staples and Office Depot. Why be loyal to one when the experiences, let alone the products, are completely interchangeable?
Writing this post reminded me of another post from a few years ago, on tompeters.com. The funniest part of that post was my son’s story of hearing an ad for guitar store Sam Ash playing on the radio at Guitar Center.
Customers use brand harmony to evaluate us. Every touchpoint either differentiates you or makes you blend in the marketplace like boring wallpaper.