Own The Moment

 Great marketing is never about a product. It is about the moment when you have an experience using the product.

Frustrating Moments
Moments Later
A Kodak moment was about a very special thousandth of a second when you and your family were captured forever on film celebrating the birth of a new child.  Another moment is when you see the light in the eyes of your mother opening up a Hallmark birthday card celebrating Mother's Day. A sweat dripping runner comes to the finish line and guzzles a Gatorade is another brand moment that can quench your thirst and connect at an emotional level with consumers.

What moment does your brand want to own?

A moment is a powerful emotional intersection where your brand and a highly charged experience intersect. It can be both a positive or negative emotion but it is one that can be all yours.  

The cancellation moment 

The Cancellation Moment
Moments are wonderfully fleeting opportunities for differentiation.  Imagine if an airline decided that it wanted to own the most frustrating moment for passengers when their flight is cancelled. Instead of the crap you usually get, imagine if instead they came up with ways to delight passengers that is within their control.  Imagine an airline who wants to own the transition of bad experience and transforming it into something human, surprising and personal.

Here is one great idea they could use. Close your eyes and imagine with me this situation:

Seventy five disgruntled passengers are sitting in the waiting area and they hear this frustrating announcement. A flight is cancelled...

“Ladies and gentleman I am sorry to have to tell you this but your flight #432 to Omaha was just cancelled due to a maintenance problem.  We are so sorry for the inconvenience. However, our SWAT team is on their way to help rescheduled you as quickly as possible”

Exhilaration Moment 

Suddenly, 20 employees from throughout the airport come running to the gate as they get a code RED. In their hands are 4 iPads each that are connected to a call center. Each SWAT team member would hand an iPad to each disgruntled customer and they would have a human being on the screen waiting to help them rebook their flight.  Instead of this moment being a horrible experience, they would make it a point of difference that creates wildly happy fans.  Each iPad would have a person at a remote call center connected and ready to help you.

Wow. What a surprise. Help. Enthusiastic help. 
In 10 minutes, the airline SWAT team would shift the moment from being highly upsetting to being incredibly powerful at connecting people with airlines employees who could help.  It would be like an Amber Alert for customer service just at that second when tempers are about to flair. By the way, SWAT stands for the Surprisingly Wonderful Attentive Team! 

Is this technically possible to do?  Of course.

Is this a logistical nightmare to execute. Yes.

Is this being done by anyone?  No.

Seize the Moment
Why isn't any airline doing this?  Well to start...lack of imagination, arrogance and laziness. 

When a flight is cancelled, the toughest frustration is that no one appears to care. Imagine a squad of high energy customer service folks who are in your hands. They talk to you and help you as best as possible find an option. Perhaps they can’t do anything but the mere act of trying shifts you from angry to having someone pay attention. By the way, of course this is hard to execute but that is what makes it an ownable and distinctive brand experience for some smart airline. 

Moments are waiting to be seized. What moment can your brand own?

Note: When I am note flying globally, I blog about marketing topics and innovative ideas. If you have some time between flights, maybe you can pass along this post to your seatmate if they are interested in marketing.

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