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What I've Been Thinking About Lately #33

The Brand Emotional Bank Account

I've been building a brand with my brother Nick and it had made me realize something that has always been the case but I didn't appreciate, there are relationships between brands and users. Just like relationships between people, each of these relationships has an emotional bank account that fluctuates based on our interactions.

When a site does disingenuous things like secretly subscribing you to their shitty newsletter and tells you how much your call means to them while they make you wait on the customer support line for 40 minutes, it depletes the users emotional bank account.

Having not seen any of the data around some of these bad brand decisions, I am left to assume that there is almost always internal corporate pressure on teams to push metrics over vibes as metrics are easy to measure and vibes are hard to measure. Secretly signing up users for your newsletter gets more subscribers and making it hard to cancel your service yields less cancellations. However, these are short-term optimized and you pay for these out of your emotional bank account. Spend a little and you can maintain the relationship, but overdraw and the user will go out of their way to never use you again.

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