Getting Away With It

A few interesting things happened to me as Build Business 2012 ended in San Francisco, I started noticing people and brands getting away with things. Some of these were small and other potentially quite large, but it struck a chord with me this time.

If you know me, you know I’m a nice guy, sometimes too nice. I’ve always felt doing the right thing and being polite is the right thing and karma will eventually come full circle. As I sat in Los Angeles’ LAX waiting for my connecting flight back to New Orleans, I noticed there was not any anger over my flight being an hour delayed. People were obviously unhappy, but overall the mood stayed positive at the gate. Why? People love Southwest Airlines. They have built a brand on bring friendly, kind, and doing what is right over what is company policy. People tolerated the inconvenience because of their positive collection of experiences with the airline. By the way, just down the terminal at another airline, a group of unhappy travelers sat waiting for their flight to depart and I believe it was on time.

The night before, I joined my friends and SMPS chapter members for a movie in one of their rooms. As one member got settled in the bed, she accidentally bumped the person next to her. Because of their past experiences with each other, this I was not big deal and was quietly dismissed and forgotten. Later that night after I returned to my room, I say on the news that Saints QB Drew Brees finally signed with the team. As I checked Facebook, a New Orleans media outlet said Brees slipped on probably being able to get away with murder in New Orleans. He is probably right too. Because of Drew Brees’ athleticism, philanthropy, and overall nice personality, most people would never believe he could murder anyone. He is a man known as St. Drew to many in New Orleans and has even been called Breesus (which he does not support which adds to his humility).

More and more we hear at marketing conferences and publications that people hire who they like and they assume you can handle the job. These examples illustrated to me that liking someone, including like a brand, keeps them buying from you and helps you get away with murder (well almost anything).