If “the message is the medium”; I reckon “the expectation is the context”.
It’s probably true of most things, but I’m really hung up on the idea of how our expectations create context for our experience and satisfaction with a brand. Sure, it’s pretty obvious that if we’re paying hundreds of dollars for a meal, we expect a very different experience than if we’re paying less than twenty. But, I’ve been thinking about this partly in light of my previously documented JetBlue experiences, that it’s not just the money we spend, but the expectations that are set. Based on my previous experiences, I expected more of JetBlue. Just as I expect more of Apple, and Zappos, and Disney based on my experiences. So, when one of those companies falls down, it’s more bothersome than when even a competitor of theirs underperform.
But, here’s the good news: it works both ways. I had an experience recently when I got a call from a GoDaddy “strategy consultant”. Initially, I kicked myself for not screening the call. I have multiple GoDaddy accounts – some of which are about ten years old (yes, dating back to way before those Super Bowl ads). But, I’ve always thought of GoDaddy as the WalMart of domain name purchasing — cheap and relatively easy. Well, this strategy consultant was calling to explain that I could structure my relationship differently and wind up saving myself a pretty significant chunk of change. I was using bits of multiple services — a couple of email addresses per domain, for example — and this guy showed me how I could consolidate them and then cancel some. Only after about 20 minutes on the phone, all focused on saving me money, did he ask me if I wanted to consolidate renewal dates and extend them to benefit from a bulk rate. By then I was on a GoDaddy high. I was happy to extend my contracts and maybe get this wonderful gentleman a bit of commission; and obviously to save myself what ended up being a couple of hundred dollars. And, yes, I know that I saved myself money the way my wife does at Bloomingdales (“look at all the money I saved, honey”), but GoDaddy had so exceeded my expectations and delivered value for products and services that I use and will continue to need, that spending the money was a no-brainer.