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Stop the Q-Tip when there is resistance!

Is it possible for brands to repeatedly mess up customer needs, especially after customers have grown weary of being ignored?

An example of this was Blizzard and NetEase launching the Diablo game at the BlizzCon opening ceremony in 2018. As the show opens, the game's Lead Designer makes his way up on stage to launch the game before the eager crowd.

He raised expectations until they were at an all-time high and then crashed it all with a statement that elicited the longest silence. - "Our modern world is an increasingly connected one. Our mobile phones keep us closer than ever to our friends and family and loved ones and so we knew we want to use mobile devices as the platform for a new Diablo game."

One spectator, looking uncomfortable, posed the question on everyone's minds - "Hey, I was just wondering if this is a Fool's Joke?"

Ignoring the audience, it was revealed that the PC game no one wanted on a mobile device, was now available on the App Store and Play Store.

The Lead Game Designer sarcastically replies to the next question about future plans - "Do you guys not have phones?"


Lululemon, the yoga wear giant, launched a transparent black pair of pants in 2017. A good response would have been to apologize and improve the pant.

Instead of actually recalling it, they simply sold it on.

When customers complained again on social media, they received this awful response - "They don't work for some women's bodies. It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, how much they use it."

Following another fake apology, a window display appeared: Cups of chai, Apple pies, rubbing thighs?

Brutal, huh?

In another instance, Huy Fong Foods promised to investigate odour complaints brought to their attention by the community; however, they kept silent.

As a result, the company had to stop processing fresh chiles into its #1-selling Sriracha sauce for 30 days as a result of an order from state health officials. In an interview, the company's founder provided the following example of its attitude toward consumers:

“If you don’t like my product, what happened with you? Something wrong,” he said. “We do the fresh one, the best one, the cheapest one.”

*Cricket chirping*

All three of these events indicate a failure to listen. All three brands blamed the customer and there are countless more not listed here, thus ignoring the importance of empathy when providing products and services to their clients. A lack of public communication only helped to accentuate this, as public communication is critical to the survival of a brand. It is not a good idea to react mindlessly whenever confronted with resistance. Adapting and listening can solve all matters.

Alert: Article title courtesy Chandler Bing


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