Sometimes, passion for a brand outweighs everything; disappointing service, a poor experience or simply a bad product.
I’m in love with the Hype Machine for instance, which I use every day to stream music and find new tracks or artists, straight from the site. Though I’ve been an avid evangelist of the site for years, I have – up till now – never received a response.
A bit of context first. Every January, the blog aggregator picks the best artists, albums and singles from the previous year and releases them bit by bit over the course of the month. A countdown to the cream of the crop if you will.
This time last year, I listened to it almost non-stop. It was presented as a list, and I could skip tracks or repeat as desired.
But this year, Hype has decided to combine the zeitgeist with its radio brand, presenting it as three hour-long shows with a somewhat irritating DJ talking over the music. None of which are full tracks I might add, only clips.
I was fairly gutted about this, as I’d been looking forward to the finding out which tunes had made it. I vented online, and received a response from one of the founders saying that Hype would take my thoughts into consideration (at least he tried).
Has this changed how I feel about the brand? Not really. Because of the strength of my feeling towards Hype, upon finding that the zeitgeist wasn’t what I expected, I simply went back to my normal behaviour. This meant using the ‘Loved Songs’ list to hear my favourite tracks. I’ve done the same since, and I still recommend it just as highly.
When passion outweighs everything else, there’s a risk that brands can get complacent. Apple has the market sewn up, and a sense of over-confidence in its product that means that any promotion around new products seems almost arrogant. Yes, having a fantastic product is half the battle, but where’s the line? Does this make brands like Hype and Apple unstoppable? Who knows, I just want my zeitgeist back.