How Brand Relationships Go Straight to Hell

Posted By Mandi Lindner on Jan 18, 2013 | 2 comments

Dear Brands,

Our relationship should be free.

I’m not registering at your site in order to leave a comment. There’s this little thing called OpenID, or, better yet, value the feedback of your customers so much that it is free for us to give it.

Oh, and that subscription/registration pop-up you utilize on your home page? That stops me in my tracks faster than anything you could ever throw at me.

Compounding matters is that most of the time I’m visiting your site on my mobile device. You should know by now to make an exception for mobile users so those things don’t inhibit their experience. Then again, your site isn’t even mobile ready when mobile web traffic, as a percentage of total web traffic, has doubled in the last year. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Back to the matter at hand…this “free” account you want me to create so that we can have a relationship? Don’t try to fool me! A free account is never free.

It takes my time to create it, time to click the verification link once it arrives in my email (I’ll probably have to wait for that too), and no doubt I’ll receive weekly or monthly newsletters about your product even though I’m not generally passionate about it. I just wanted to make that one purchase.

God help me when I try to unsubscribe. A map wouldn’t help me find the link and even when I do submit my address you’ll no doubt send me an email telling me goodbye. I JUST SAID I DON’T WANT YOUR EMAILS, STALKER!

This all started only because I wanted to tell you that I had one particularly pleasant experience. I wasn’t expecting to be harangued into being your newest brand ambassador against my will.

In fact, I don’t think I like your brand anymore after all of this hassle.

I think I will search your website, one last time, for contact information – a form, an email address, a phone number – and leave my thoughts and, now negative brand association, with you there.

Because where before I was motivated by goodwill to interact with you on your website, I am now motivated by annoyance and possibly even anger (depending upon the number of hoops you’ve had me jump through to have this relationship with you). And anger provides more impetus than goodwill ever could. Gimme more hoops to jump through now; I DARE YOU.

Editor’s Note: @PeterShankman beat me to the punch by posting about his experience with  He’s more eloquent than I.


What do you think?