Presumptuous Brands Will See Customer Backlash

2016 04 25   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

I enjoyed Chuck Martin’s point of view about brands wrestling control of the sales process away from the consumer. (“Negative Options Rule in the Internet Of Things,” IoT Daily, April 10)

If one is going to read between the lines – and I’m kind of surprised that I’m the first to voice this – it seems to me that brands think that they deserve my business, and that it’s up to me to deny them their due or they get to make money off of me. Isn’t that what the Domino’s app is all about? The short answer: Yes. The correct answer: They are wrong. I have the money; guess who makes the rules? I do.

If a brand wants my money, it’ll play by my rules. And my rules say: “If you take my money without my explicit permission, that’s stealing, and I’d be delighted to press criminal charges.”

Yeah, I know that, with the Domino’s app, one has to go through a number of steps requiring conscious effort and decision, including connecting a payment method and agreeing to its absurd 10-second rule by checking a box, but the premise has the business relationship backwards. Instead of Domino’s asking me if they can serve me, it is telling me it’s going to do something if I don’t deny it that right.

Tip to Domino’s (Sorry to pick on you so mercilessly, but you did put your insane app out there and then got totally set up by Martin.) and any other company that believes it deserves my money by virtue of its mere existence: You are wrong, and may experience the power of consumer backlash against your presumptions in the form of decreased sales – and class-action lawsuits by disgruntled consumers and attorneys who are hungrier than even your mediocre pizza can satisfy. It will happen, and it will force a rethink of the rules, back to putting the consumer first.

On the flip side, you have companies that use their presence on the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve their clients’ individual brand experiences. I wear a Shine by Misfit. I sync it every day, and with that sync Misfit is able to tell how much juice is left in my device’s battery. When it’s getting low, the company emails me, asking if I’d like it to send me a new one. Whichever way I respond, it lets me know what it’s doing. Thus far, I’ve opted to receive the free battery, and each time it has sent me two – which further impresses me!

In the IoT world, there is Domino’s way and then there is Misfit’s way. I’ve taken a shine to Shine! I prefer Papa John’s pizza anyway.