Exaggerate at Your Own Risk

    By Prashant Pinge | Small Business

    Exaggerate at Your Own Risk image Exaggerate at your own risk 150x150Exaggerate at Your Own Risk

    I remember walking into this burger joint a long time ago. It happened to be peak hour, and I found myself stuck in a long line. But I was instantly distracted by the audio visual playing on one of the screens. The sight was mesmerizing. Wholesome wheat buns straight out of the oven. Garden fresh vegetables sliced with flourish. A juicy grilled sizzling chicken breast. Melted cheese dripping from the sides. Dollops of relish, ketchup and mustard. All coming together to create the perfect burger. My mouth is watering even as I write so you can well imagine what my condition was then.

    About fifteen gruelling minutes later, I sat with my cardboard box in a corner. But when I opened it, the first thing that flashed across my mind was ‘this looks smaller than what I saw on the screen.’ I somehow brushed aside my doubt since hunger was gnawing away at my insides and took a bite. There was no crunch, and I could hardly find the chicken. When I removed the top wheat bun, I got the shock of my life. The vegetables were shrivelled. The chicken breast occupied only three fourths of the space. The cheese was scanty. And the relish, ketchup and mustard were nothing more than smudges.

    I looked up again at the audio visual just to make sure my eyes hadn’t played tricks on me earlier. But no, there it was. And then I looked down. Nope, that wasn’t it. The expectations had been set beautifully. But they had not been met at all. How often do we encounter this? The advertisements are enticing, promising the world, pulling consumers in like magnets. But when it comes to the actual delivery, they disappoint again and again and again. And in doing so, they not only lose customers but also their brand value.

    The basis of any marketing strategy is to create loyal customers. While the task of advertising is to draw in customers, it should set realistic expectations and at least meet if not exceed them. That will never happen as long as businesses exaggerate their offerings while treating customers to substandard products and services. Yes, the advertising may work for a short while and pull in customers for some time. But that’s about it. In today’s information age, word spreads quickly. And when that does happen, it’s usually curtains for the business.

    So what happened to my burger? I did manage to make a meal out of it. And did I go there again? Yes, lots of times. In fact, I still do. But to eat kebabs. The burger joint shut down just months later.

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