It’s what always separates the gold medalist from a field of the most highly trained sprinters in the world, that makes him the first one out when the gun sounds: responsiveness.
It’s what propels and possess the false starter to pounce in full flight long before it is required or appropriate to do so: impulsiveness.
There is actually a difference between the two.
“And the most likely to blunder in business award goes to…”
LIME’s two biggest marketing blunders of the year so far have stemmed from them confusing impulsiveness with responsiveness.
Those mistakes are the “Cliff Twang” endorsement deal and the “Teacha’s Pet” reality series. While the deals, of course, caused a buzz at first, keen ears would have recognized that the hype was more about the legitimacy and value LIME brought to the two men, as opposed to the value and legitimacy they brought to LIME. That is not the case when Audi sponsors James Bond, or Puma sponsors Bolt.
The two endorsement deals show LIME’s confounding propensity to grab at things they “feel” will amuse and amaze the public, but which everyone knows (or should know) could never be sustained on their own merit.
You will understand what I mean about investing in sustainable things in a minute.
Two weeks ago Research In Motion (RIM), the makers and operators of Blackberry Smart phones suffered some technical difficulties and the entire world of Blackberry users felt it.
On the 21 October 2011, the headline in the Jamaica Observer read, “Digicel to reimburse BlackBerry users for service outage.” (read more) On Friday, a week later, at 3:40 PM I received a text message: “Digicel is please to credit you…”
I was ecstatic! It didn’t even amount to a dollar US, or a “bills credit” and yet I was ecstatic. I immediately tweeted to the world: “My digicel matters to me.” Facebook was alive with comments by people who had received their Digicel reimbursement. Hard to imagine that Digicel customers would be the only ones celebrating right?
Where is LIME?
Where was LIME in all this? What was LIME’s response? There are only two options to explaining LIME’s behaviour and both of them are problematic for LIME.
- LIME did not reimburse their customers,
- LIME could have chosen to not reimburse their customers from a policy position – “its not our fault and we are not going to be held liable.” Sounds fair, but not very much like a company that wants to endear it self to customers.
- It could be that LIME just did not take note of the situation, did not assess it as their own, did not formulate a plan and so when Digicel rolled out their reimbursement plan, they were caught with their pants down.
- LIME is like the ugly girl duck beside the average duck. Had LIME given away something, anything – if LIME had just responded in a way worth remarking about, then Digicel’s $75 would have seem as paltry a sum as it truly is. LIME’s invisibility has only made Digicel visible, their awkwardness has only made Digicel seem so aware and in tune.
- LIME reimbursed their customers, and nobody knows.
Maybe LIME has reimbursed their customers, maybe they have communicated to them privately, maybe its way more than the $75 Digicel gave, maybe its so grand and so great they had to keep quiet to prevent a riot.
The problem with that, is that customers purchase when they know, when they are sure, and they will never give you the benefit of the doubt. Further, it would have been for LIME an invaluable bit of desperately needed publicity.
If LIME is to make any headway in winning the hearts and dollars of Jamaicans, it needs to learn the art of being responsive when the real gun sounds. Not impulsive – responding to random, illogical, and unsustainable fads.
What kind of response is an investment in sustainable things?
- Respond to the customer’s needs and concerns,
- Respond with effective service,
- Respond with better support,
- Respond with greater rewards, and
- Respond SOON (yesterday).
This is the responsiveness LIME needs, especially with competitors like Digicel and Claro (same thing). Until they get this over at LIME, I have no doubt that they will continue to be second (even third) rate.
What do you think about Lime’s response to the Blackberry outage situation? Do you think it is fair to say that their two major endorsement deals for the year have now flopped?