I enjoyed Alan Mitchell’s piece on relationship marketing (MW August 28), but I couldn’t help feeling that he overestimates the flexibilities within brands – especially as far as service businesses are concerned.
He argues that the successful relationship marketer must try to be all things to all men and women. In computers, he suggests, it is good to be “friendly and helpful”, and a “fellow enthusiast” with techies.
But there’s a better-proven formula for business success called being yourself. As businesses from Dell Computer to easyJet have demonstrated, an ounce of conviction is worth a ton of synthetic attitude based on some customer research findings.
I doubt whether many could manage the kind of cultural schizophrenia Alan is calling for, but I don’t think it’s a problem. Even if they could, the huge majority of consumers would see through such transparent schemes in nanoseconds.
Camp Chipperfield Hill Murray