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Irrelevant wins!

An irrelevant experience is a negative one. All it takes is one irrelevant experience to wipe out 4 good relevant ones.

The numbers are not decisive, but it is proven and clear that for every negative feedback, every bad-mouthing customer, you need quite a few positive speaking customers to even it out. And we all know that negatively impacted customers will tend to speak more, louder and more often then any happy customer.

Imagine a timeline where in the middle there is the neutral line. When you go through a positive experience related to the brand you move to the right and when it is a negative one you move to the left. Away from the brand. The problem is that every positive experience will move your customer one step towards a stronger brand attachment (brand love) but a negative one will move you back 5 steps. At least.

The simple straight forward conclusion here is to make sure our customers do not go through a negative experience, right?

WRONG!! I mean, of course you don’t want them to go through a negative experience but you see, if you do nothing they will stay Neutral. And Neutral for us is simply not good enough these days. Hence, you need, must do, initiate, delight, positive experiences.


Another small human element that makes this entire theory even more complicated is the fact that we all have the tendency to drift. Coast. When we are not reminded somehow about that brand, we glide back towards being Neutral. Even if we had a good experience in the past and we were say at 3 points to the right of the Neutral bar, over time, if you do not experience anything by this brand you will go back to being Neutral. Have you ever wondered why we keep seeing Coke ads even though they are the most recognizable brand in the world?

Hence, the key elements of this thought process are:

1. The default state of the customer is….NEUTRAL. Not positive. And when the customer is in a Neutral state towards our brand we are basically at a disadvantage. Which means that we simply must…..

2. Initiate and create positive experience for our customer. ALL THE TIME. On an ongoing basis in order to keep your customer climbing up on the brand attachment ladder and do not let them slide back to the red.

3. Important – as I mentioned above, when one of your customers experiences a negative experience and they start dropping on that brand ladder they will most likely drag a few customers down with them by sharing their bad experience on their way down with those who are along the positive side of the ladder. So…..

4. Again – don’t think that if they had a positive experience you are safe. And lastly….

5. Positive experiences need to be relevant. An irrelevant experience is…..A NEGATIVE ONE.

I ordered shoes for my son online. Adidas. Loved the online experience.

Relevant – 1 Irrelevant – 0

Booked it and got an email confirmation with relevant information. The only 2 points I cared about – order confirmed and time of arrival.

Relevant – 2 Irrelevant – 0

They even offered to send me texts with relevant information about the delivery ETA.

Relevant – 3 Irrelevant – 0

Then, a day later, I received a text from them. With the details of the delivery. Took away my worries completely. Beautiful.

Relevant – 4 Irrelevant – 0

Problem is…..I still had that negative impact on my mind from a few days earlier when I received the relevant email but with the irrelevant ad trying to sell me a sports bra…..

Relevant – 4 Irrelevant – 5

Irrelevant wins.

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