My two obsessions – brands and people. Which will win?

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Cannes Festival was one of the few moments in my life where I was 80% happy with the presentations shown (for comparison: traditionally it is 0-20%). I don’t know how they do it, but everyone comes truly prepared. With substantive, interesting, ambitious presentations.
But there was one that swept me off my feet. My heart jumped to my brain and started pumping blood with the speed of light. In the middle of the presentation I cried only to laugh in a moment, and then cry again. Absolute and total emotional rollercoaster.
Normally I would not admit to such hysteria, had it not been for the fact that most of the room behaved similarly. Everyone was confused, moved, touched… the presentation threw us into the cosmos and we did not wish to return from there. Afterwards we all wanted to have BEATS BY DR DRE. And Tosia and I were already checking whether you could get them at the Nice airport.
As a strategist, I appreciate the craftsmanship of marketing specialist – a lot more than that of a musician. Therefore, despite critical opinions of my friends, I very much wanted to be a happy owner of the brand managed by marketing genius. I watch its adverts when I am deflated, when I have given up and do not fancy doing anything. They give me an emotional kick and the feeling that I can turn the world upside down.

On the wave of this presentation I was swept with the brand obsession. Luckily for me, it turned out that there are several models. And these models have different colours. And different prices. And different options of something I know nothing about, including what exactly it is for (just as 90% of devices I own).
HOURS on the Internet. Comparing each one separately and altogether. When the price is ok, the colour isn’t. When the colour’s right, the model doesn’t fit. When everything’s fine, the weight is too much, etc.
At the end I decided to sort it out in a manly way – do something which is completely unlike me, i.e. go to the shop and see with my own eyes. For me, every visit to the shopping centre is a challenge and tragedy. And no – not only because I cannot park well underground. I just don’t like such places. But the brand obsession was bigger than the obsession of not liking the shopping malls (and parking). I went.
I go to my beloved Apple store, I look at my future purchase and I still cannot make a decision.
‘Excuse me, could you please help me choo–’
‘I’m busy, in a moment.’
“I’m busy”… No obsession will ever balance my obsession connected to good or at least correct customer service. I didn’t wait, especially that there is Saturn next door. I went to Saturn.
And it started… Those I wanted do not fit ears very well. Those that do – there is no colour I want. There was the third model left, which I previously disregarded – I cannot remember why, because I didn’t take my notes, but oh well… I’ll try it on.
‘Excuse me, could I try those?’
‘There are only those displayed.’
‘But these are not displayed.’
‘Then we haven’t got them.’
‘But I can see them.’
‘But in the box.’
‘Then please open the box.’
‘The box is not to be opened, you can see them on the Internet.’
‘Please check in the other Saturn.’
The larger my obsessions, the easier it is to extinguish them, contrary to appearances. I am a capricious one. Presentation of Beats was several months ago, and the service in Apple and Saturn is happening NOW, so the principles took over love.  I DON’T CARE ABOUT BEATS! I’LL BUY SOMEHWERE ELSE.  I leave… I am walking, walking, walking… and during this chatter in my head, I look – there are other colourful headphones in the shop window. I started looking to calm down my breath. A man inside gives me a sign to come in.
‘Should I show themto you?’
‘No, thank you. I want Beats.’
‘I understand, but maybe I’ll show you something cool, too? What are you looking for?’
‘Wireless Beats.’
‘And in what situations will you use the headphones?’
(POINT 1 Checking my needs.)
‘You know, this year I’ll be travelling a lot by bus. I don’t like snoring; I cannot sleep then, so I need to have good headphones. (This is not completely a rationalisation. 🙂 Really small headphones do not protect so much against that awful sound.)
‘I understand, and in such case I advise against wireless, because when the battery runs out, you will be sentenced to snoring.’
(POINT 2 Hearing my needs and adjusting to them.)
‘I know they are more convenient, but for you others will be more practical. And they’re cheaper, too.’
(POINT 3 Showing me that he takes care of my needs more than of his profit.)
Yes, I know sales representatives are trained in this field. But really, they almost never do that, so I appreciate it when someone applies it subtly and in time.
‘Please tell me honestly – which headphones are you looking for, what is the most important thing to you?’
(POINT 4 Further checking my needs to make them more precise.)
Fairly speaking, at that moment, I was his. I will tell you honestly what I said, even though I’m not proud of it…
‘Ok, so I have something for you.’
And he produces the most beautiful headphones EVER. But I know I need to remain calm, so…
‘Pretty, but black. I don’t like black ones.’
‘And do you like white?’
‘I do.’
‘I have white. Have a look.’
And here I have him. They are in the box. The box is not to be opened.
‘But I want to see them live.’
‘Of course, I’m opening them for you.’
(POINT 5 The foil should protect against dust, not purchase.)
He opens the box for me and places headphones over my ears.
There’s love from the first sight. I’m listening to music to calm down.
‘But you know, I want Beats. This I didn’t check, what quality it is, I see them for the first time.’
‘Once they were Beats, meaning that Beats used to be Monsters. Then they didn’t reach the consensus. So you have the same quality.’
(POINT 6 Extinguishing doubts.)
‘And design – you see for yourself. Lady Gaga promoted them.’
‘WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? Snoop Dogg, it’s even on our website; he’s wearing them, not Lady Gaga.’
(POINT 7 Well done for vigilance.)
Ok, I know Lady Gaga was involved, too, but well done for sensitivity to my lack of acceptance and adjusting the message to the recipient’s ego (my reaction left no doubt that Lady Gaga is not my idol).
‘And where do you usually travel? To Latin America? I also like it very much. Do you really write a blog?’
Enters the blog and views it while I am using the almost-mine headphones.
‘It looks interesting, I’ll read it. But since you travel so much, you probably don’t want to look like everyone. Everyone has Beats, and with Diamond Tears… you’ll be sparkling.’
(POINT 8 Interest and compliments.)
My yoga instructor told me that compliments can make the elephant fly. And Izmałkowa will change her mind. This second bit the teacher didn’t say, but I did just that.
I wanted Beats, a lot. But when someone has no time for me or doesn’t want to open the box, THEN DON’T!
Luckily, there are still shops where employees like their job, not just salaries. Shops where the client is more important than the procedure.  Where the openness, kindness and creating a shopping experience, as it is said in marketing, are not just phrases on the notes glued to the front door.
This is why guys from the Denon salon in Złote Tarasy (Golden Terraces) in just 20 minutes changed my advert obsession into an obsession with people.
I love and appreciate beautiful, inspiring marketing. But even more I love and appreciate pleasant experiences with the brand. I love some brands, but – with all respect – I love myself more.
Sorry Dr Dre – I chose myself and… diamonds.

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