Brand and Value Disappointment


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Bob Passikoff of Brand Keys stated that “For Wall Street it (Brand Disappointment) was about missing expectations regarding new subscriptions and new customers. And the brand disappointment thereof, with a forecast below analyst expectations and estimates for the next three months.” Brand disappointment leads also to value disappointment, value starvation and value destruction.

But why does Wall Street get disappointed? It is because the brand has disappointed the customer, and has lost loyalty from “confirmed customers” reflected in the Customer Loyalty Engagement Index of Brand Keys? Netflix no longer is present in the list because it has stopped allowing sharing of passwords. We understand this is not something customers want to lose, and losing it causes brand disappointment. Brand keys goes on to discuss SPOILER ALERT. They state that loss of loyalty is due to expectations not being met. They say expectations are emotionally-driven and are completely unconstrained by reality. And, apparently, so are subscriber agreements!

While I agree with brand keys, I am even more disappointed by brands for poor service and for increasing my effort.

I’ll give you 3 examples that happened to me in the last few days:

  1. American Express, know your customer registration
  2. Oneplus, poor buying experience
  3. Citibank, nominee registration 

American Express, know your customer registration

Those of you living in India know that the Know your Customer (KYC) data is needed every now and then. My American Express card advised me to fill one. They already have my Universal ID, in India called the Aadhar. They now need a passport or a driver’s license. They want the last and first page of the Indian passport, or both sides of the driver’s license. We must upload these pages as separate documents. So first we have to upload these in pdf as files.

Unfortunately, I have both the passport first page and last page in one file. I was forced to load this twice, once as a first page and once as a last page. The same would have happened for my driver’s license.

Not only this, I have to fill out data from the driver’s license or passport, so that their staff does not have to do any work. Let the customer do extra work!

Why is this:

  • The people designing the upload system do not understand what I had done as a possibility. That makes them not so customer friendly
  • The convenience of the company is more important than that of the customer.
  • Why not allow mobile phone pictures or whatsapp pictures to be accepted?
  • Use technology more effectively. Make it simple!

Oneplus, poor buying experience

A few days ago, I bought a Oneplus 11R phone at their store in the Saket Mall, Delhi. The salespeople wanted to tell me about the technicals of the phone but not what I wanted to know. Why shouldn’t I buy the more expensive Oneplus 11 phone. How different was it from the 11R? I got vague and technical answers.

I decided to buy the 11R and to exchange with my existing phone the One plus Nord. The exchange review took almost 30 minutes, and another 20 minutes for billing.

Why should I buy with so much customer value starvation?

Then they said they would transfer my data. This was so sloppily done that when I came back from lunch the system update had not been done and I had to wait another 15 minutes for this…Horrible, non-caring attitude. And no one took responsibility and no one said I am the manager and tried to defuse the problem.

I compared this to the Apple buying experience which was great!

To improve:

  • Train the staff to listen and be attentive, and answer questions that are asked
  • Make the billing system faster
  • Ensure the transfer of data is complete and the system is updated so the customer has a seamless experience
  • Have someone responsible to improve the work and understand what went wrong

Citibank, Nominee Registration

Citibank retail business in India has been sold to Axis Bank, but still goes under the Citi name. I wanted a nominee on my bank account. So, I sent someone to get a nomination form. I was told to send a letter for the form. I finally got the form, and filled it out and sent it to the Bank.

A few days later I get a call, asking if I had sent a nominee form. Who was the nominee, why was he nominated, what are his qualifications, where is he working? None of these were questions on the nominee form, and finally I refused to answer any more questions. I asked her to connect me to the manager, and she said he was not in. When will I get to know if the nomination was registered? Soon, she said. I still have not heard a week later. Customer value starvation, and Brand disappointment.

  • Citi should make routine jobs seamless
  • They should follow up and tell the customer the work is done.

Axis, who bought Citi, be aware of Citi problems.

All these are SPOILERS but the companies do not care to look into these, let alone improve the systems, and so there is brand disappointment, and possible brand erosion and brand destruction.

Who cares about all this and value destruction?

Friends, share your experiences with me.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gautam Mahajan
Gautam Mahajan, President of Customer Value Foundation is the leading global leader in Customer Value Management. Mr Mahajan worked for a Fortune 50 company in the USA for 17 years and had hand-on experience in consulting, training of leaders, professionals, managers and CEOs from numerous MNCs and local conglomerates like Tata, Birla and Godrej groups. He is also the author of widely acclaimed books "Customer Value Investment: Formula for Sustained Business Success" and "Total Customer Value Management: Transforming Business Thinking." He is Founder Editor of the Journal of Creating Value ( and runs the global conference on Creating Value (


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