Maryam Davani HosseiniMaryam is a recent graduate from the Strategic Design and Management program at Parsons the New School for Design. She currently works at the lead Digital Strategist at Think PR. @maamzies
I am being a little dramatic. I think I am taking things a little too personally..
I bought into the game… And loved every minute of it. But this isn’t what I thought it would turn out to be when it came down to things. I believed what you told me to believe. And as a product of this industry I looked deep into your concept and tried to live in the experience you told me to.
And then one of your “judgment free zone” team members told me I was fat on my way out of your gym yesterday and that message you so blatantly plaster everywhere… It came tumbling down.
When you catch a brand in the midst of proving itself false, and even a derivative of that brand slacking in the execution of a well thought out idea, it becomes personal – at least to me.
And I am not exactly sure who’s to blame here.
I feel so close to the construction of messages and stories that brands tell today. Sometimes it works so well, like in the sense of four-pins, a style site, a group of mother fucking gentleman, that of which I am convinced, know how to keep it real. Men’s fashion is worth the second thought, and if any opinion is worth hearing, the ones that make you laugh dream and regret all at the same time do, so they’ve got my vote.
But wait a second, what happens when this story that I bought into turns out to be one big lie? And I feel for your brand the same spite that I feel for the Lunk that did me oh so dirty by stooping to 7th grade insult level?
How do you become a liaison when the whole experience is 180 degrees? When the experience is not what all of the printed words, the decals, and tweets are saying it is supposed to be?
It hurts. When Baubles aren’t exactly shiny do you say something about it? What happens to that vision they have worked so hard to create for themselves if it falls apart in the aftermath of a buy, a purchase, a membership, or subscription?
So what happened then that fitness planet judged me?
A piece of me is mad, vengeful and embarrassed for this industry. Sometimes I take it out on Yelp. ‘You should know better than to think you can get away with this,’ I think as I angrily draft my reviews. You failed the vision, and didn’t withstand the ultimate test: the customer experience, and experience being the keyword.
Before I post my review I take a walk (mentally). I put myself back in the moment, and ask myself, what would I have done?
Probably not called a customer fat, or sold them something that breaks repeatedly, or whatever the dysfunction may be. But until I get to the point of being tested, rather than be mad or spiteful, I’ve decided that I need to take these experiences as what they are- experiences. And craft them into insights, takeaways, and notes for the future.
When my vision speaks it will make it through the test. And until that moment, until it’s fruition, I will digest, analyze, plan, figure, draft, strategize test and understand every single one of these cases that I live in until I get a chance to try.
Until then, I’ll annotate my experiences, for isn’t this digital age that you and I live in but a platform to be heard?
I guess it just depends on who is listening.