Brand Experience

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OK, this is a two-fold post, as I take issue with the website, which is my usual, but this time I add in frustration over the actual product design.

The first issue is with the website. I received an Instagram ad for Bird Collective and I went to their site to look at their offerings. I immediately liked the state birding t-shirts, but soon found a big issue.

The top 3 shirts in the screenshot below have a hero image showing the BACK of the shirt! The 3 shirts below have images showing the front.

This is incredibly confusing and inconsistent. A clothing company showing different angles of the same type of product is breaking a cardinal rule of product presentation.

OK, so onto the actual shirts. Why is Bird Collective showing the backs of some shirts and the fronts of others?

Because those cute state-themed shirts have this on the front:


Why does anyone make a cool shirt and put the cool stuff on the back? Bird people are INTO birds, so I don’t think they would take issue with the reason you would buy this shirt being on the front.

In addition, “New Jersey Birding” is not a group you can join, that isn’t a logo that would make sense. It’s just there.

Also, what is the additional cost of printing on both sides? I imagine it would have been cheaper to produce tees only printed on the front.

This is a huge miss. If anyone reading this knows why this would be done, please comment or tweet me and let me know.

In conclusion, here are my recommendations for Bird Collective.

  • Find a way to sell the state-themed shirts that is more up-front about the fact that the majority of the design is on the back.
    • Create a hero image that indicates that the main design is on the back
  • Rethink the design of the state-themed shirts for future production. Identify why the design was created that way to begin with. The other shirts on the site are not printed on multiple sides so switching the state-themed shirts over for future production runs should be considered.

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Sometimes, I see things that I would like to blog about, and then I take a screenshot and forget about it.

I recently found a bunch of those things, and so if I post those, I’m going to label them as throwbacks and go with it.

I have actually nothing to complain about with this one, it was just an example of email content that I really enjoyed! (This was long before the internet canceled Too Faced.)

Back in 2018, Too Faced collaborated with YouTube queen Kandee Johnson on a makeup collection that was available exclusively at Ulta.

This email came to me from Ulta, and I was blown away by how good this content is! The team at Too Faced (and perhaps also Ulta, as the exclusive partner) really put a lot of thought and effort into this. One of my biggest issues with almost any makeup product that is released onto the market in our current times is that the brands don’t provide enough of their own content on how to use that product. If you are introducing an eyeshadow palette with 20 shades in it, I want access to at least 4 tutorials on how to create different looks with those 20 colors.

I digress. This email has it all – product images, beauty shots of Kandee, color swatches, tips from Kandee about the products, and links to video content as well! I wish I remembered more about how this collection performed, because I hope that this level of support for a product launch was rewarded with success in sales.

I’m inserting a lot of this email down below so that I can share it in all of its glory.

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I’ve become more acquainted with Wayfair since purchasing a house last year. Recently, I was drawn in by an email promising me deep discounts on area rugs.

It worked and within minutes, my husband and I had chosen a rug for the living room and I started the checkout process.

It wasn’t long before I got to entering my payment information. You’ll understand my surprise at seeing this choice of font in the space for me to choose the expiration dates for my credit card.

What is even happening. Every other font on their website is clear and easy to read. Why isn’t the font shown elsewhere in this screenshot also in these dropdown menus?

I was shocked by this and immediately took this screenshot.

Then I got my confirmation email…

It is unreadable. I work in e-commerce for a store that isn’t even close to being as big as Wayfair, and I find myself feeling lots of sympathy for what HAS to be a mistake. It is a mistake, right?

I don’t know if it is possible that my browser is using this font as a replacement for another one, I almost hope so, but still, this is massively frustrating.

I’ll be sure to send a tweet to Wayfair about this – and hope that someone else has already noticed this issue.

UPDATE – They might have had someone else already report this issue, as my shipping email looked much better! I hope this means that they got the news that the other font was a mess.

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Once you start paying attention to the little things in promotional email messages, it is really hard to stop yourself.

I create promotional email content as part of my current job, so it is really important to me that I get it right. I especially hope that I would maintain that level of attention to detail in the event that I would have to quickly create and deploy an email in response to a mistake.

Unfortunately, we are about to get a crash course in unfortunate mistakes made during that exact scenario.

I received the email below from Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza. Take a look and I’ll continue below.

This is really unfortunately done. My major issues are as follows.

  1. The “from” name is Not Anthony’s, or anything easily recognizable as the brand.
  2. The subject line is “Placeholder Subject,” which is fairly tragic. I would be kicking myself for that one.
  3. I received this email, even though I definitely did not open or click through on the previous email that they mention here. Instead of sending this email about a mistake to everyone, they could have changed the landing page for the link they sent earlier to add messaging about a mistake, and then segmented the email list to only send this email I received to anyone who opened AND clicked the email with the original survey link. They likely sent this follow up to thousands more people than they really needed to.
  4. It says “we sent an email out in error,” 2 sentences in a row. This appears to have really been written in a hurry.
  5. It also looks like it was formatted for mobile devices only, and wasn’t set up to be responsive? This screenshot is from my desktop computer.
  6. I didn’t touch their survey, but they have now sent me an extraneous apology email. I’m very surprised that this didn’t offer me some kind of small discount coupon to use in the future to make me feel better about not getting the $10 reward they are giving to everyone who did take the survey.

I genuinely feel for whoever assembled and sent this email, as the issues here are many and mostly avoidable. Hopefully the Anthony’s team will have better success distributing their next survey.

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Ticketmaster Device Issue | Brand Experience Project

by Jamie Sanford on February 28, 2020

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I have recently experienced a strange error message when shopping for event tickets with Ticketmaster, and wanted to share my thoughts on how this is presented and how it can be improved.

I was most recently shopping the fan pre-sale for the upcoming New Order/Pet Shop Boys tour, and once I chose a pair of tickets, I tried to move forward and received this message.

I almost don’t know where to start with how useless this is to me as a customer.

  1. there is no explanation of what the actual issue is with the device I am using;
  2. there is nothing here addressing that I waited in a queue in order to purchase tickets, behind over 1000 other people, before I had the opportunity to even buy these tickets, and at no point was I given information on how certain devices might cause my purchase to fail;
  3. when I was buying tickets to a separate event earlier this week,  got this message, clicked “OK” and then tried again and was able to purchase the tickets I wanted.

Anyway, after clicking the go button a bunch of times, trying to somehow to get around this strange error again, I decided to try the purchase via the Ticketmaster app on my phone. Here’s how that went.

Good on them for seeing me in multiple locations I guess? Better to stymie the scalpers and bots I suppose.

I closed the browser tabs on my computer and then clicked “Confirm.”

…and then I was done. I gave up on buying these tickets. I went back the following day and ran into the same issues on the website, and so far, still don’t have tickets to this event.

While the whole experience was problematic, the message about “unable to complete your request on this device” is the one I found the most egregious. Why should one device work and another one not work? Please tell me exactly why my device of choice is problematic, particularly in an environment when purchasing tickets to a popular event requires planning and speed of transaction.

I do think that Ticketmaster has made good efforts to thwart the bots, which is wonderful. However, they clearly have some issues remaining that desperately need to be addressed.

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