The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) subway is a vital component of the vivid organism we call “The great New York Metropolitan Area”. As per MTA reports, in June 2010 there were 782,776,000 subway rides. This humugous number of rides provides a high probability of being situations and/or having (or over-hearing) conversations when riding the subway. One cannot ignore all conversations, after all (even i you listen to your iPod).
A few days ago I took the yellow line (the B,D,F trains) . Due of the late hour there were only a few people in the car. Two guys (I assume students) were intensely and loudly discussing a text message that one of them just sent to a girl he likes, and what should he have done.
The message said something in the tone of – “Had a long day outside, playing basketball/football… with the guys. I stink, so I can’t meet you today. Can we meet tomorrow?”.
The guy wants to meet the girl, but not today. Why? because he had a very long day and he would not be able to put his best show (yes, he likes her). Hearing the tone and the words he selected for his message I had to inform him that he had completely missed his target and he should think about damage control.
It is very easy to damage a brand. Until the recall of 1.1 million cars last July, Toyota had a brand of safety and quality. Other car companies used Toyota as a measure of their own quality, “Just as good as a Toyota“. However, last July’s recall had a very bad impact on Toyota’s brand value and it is still unclear how many years and millions of dollars Toyota will have to spend on brand advertising in order to recoup the damage. But it will take some time.
Each message one writes should be clear. A message conveys information and feelings. And this was a free lesson in marketing 1o1. No matter what, the girl will remember “I stink”. This is a hit to the self branding of “a friendly guy who likes to do sports and spends time away from the screen”.
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