Last week, I picked up a magazine which featured an article on the “latest fashion trend”… in this case identified as items that are pink. My daughter is TOTALLY pink obsessed and naturally, I directed her attention to the article, which was really a 2 page spread featuring hot products offered in pink.
She absolutely SQUEALED when I showed her the spread and began an obsessive quest to obtain a majority of the items offered.
Her quest began with a pair of pink shoes….which were offered on the web site. Search, point and click… VIOLA! A few more clicks and the shoes are purchased and on their way. She’s one happy camper.
The next item on the page to capture her attention is an adorable pink blouse with yet another web address listed as the source. Like a woman on a mission, she visits the web site… only to be presented with a web site which seems to only offer prom dresses and bridesmaid dresses. There is no pink wispy blouse anywhere to be found on the site.
She’s annoyed but still buoyed by her shoe success, she continues to the next object of her affection… a hot pink jacket with classic lines. she has plans for that jacket… she plans on wearing it with a pair of grey slacks she already owns. It will make a perfect companion piece for the fabulous pink shoes, whose arrival we await with baited breath. There’s no web address given, yet the source is listed and as a result, we make a trip to Old Navy at 7:00 PM on a weekday evening in pursuit of the perfect pink jacket.
She was annoyed to be thwarted in her quest for the perfect pink blouse…. but to drive to the mall and not find the perfect pink jacket was too much. I’m sure it was a similar display which inspired William Congreve to coin the truism “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
About 15 companies sought introduction to a new audience and provided product to the magazine for inclusion in the spread. It was a brilliant move from a marketing standpoint!!! The display of products sent my 20 year old daughter on a shopping SPREE… one where her credit card was in hand and she was ready to buy, buy buy!
The only thing stopping her from fulfilling her quest… FOLLOW THROUGH!
Two of the3 companies she tried to patronize (out of the 15 companies who featured product) failed to have the “advertised” product in stock. I get the 6 month lead times that are inherent in magazine publishing. I also doubt that had that been a paid ad if the stores would have featured product not available.
The only company that won the night we went on our obsessive quest to Old Navy was the oil company that provided the gasoline. My daughter and I wandered the store, getting more angry as we moved through the racks of clothing. Not only did they not have the desired jacket, the selection offered was NOTHING like the jacket featured in the spread. My daughter’s parting words as we left the store… “Old Navy sucks!”
What could have been the successful introduction of newly minted customer instead ends in an experience that is going to be associated with the name “Old Navy” for quite a while.
Naomi Dunford had a similar experience with paint which she chronicles in What Tiger Woods Can Teach You About Marketing.
Her quest was very similar. Just as my daughter and I were seeking the perfect pink jacket… Naomi was seeking cozy paint. She was inspired by a magazine spread, got in her car and DROVE to acquire the object of her desire, in this case the perfect paint. Isn’t that the point of marketing and advertising?
In both cases, people were MOVED to action only to come home empty handed.
Make sure that doesn’t happen to YOUR customers!