Of contests and taglines gone wrong

A well known digital storage (SD cards, CF cards, USB flash drives, etc.) recently ran a contest on Facebook that had several problems which offer several lessons for all of us.

It turns out that some of the prizes showed as out of stock in their online store. An entrant would get an email that said to go to the online store and use a provided code to redeem their prize. The vendor knew about the problem as they wrote in the email that it would show as out of stock but to order it anyway. If you know about a problem like this, fix it, don’t ask the customer to have faith and work with you to work around it.

But the fun didn’t end there. At least for this entrant, the code was rejected as invalid when I attempted to redeem it at the online store. When I inquired about this in their Facebook page I was told to order it anyway as if I was asking about the out of stock problem. When your customer brings a problem to your attention, read their words closely enough to know which problem they are having.

Checking their Facebook page today I noticed that their tagline is “Enriching people’s lives through digital storage anytime, anywhere.” I can see how many of today’s rules of writing marketing prose might have resulted in that line but it doesn’t work for me. The storage does not provide the enrichment but it does hold the memories. Personally I would state their value as “Anytime, anywhere digital storage of life’s memorable moments.” if they were intent on that basic messaging. I realize this only gets at the part of their business that stores photos, video and sound but the photo this line was on was of people playing outdoors with snow falling, not of a businessperson transporting important data on a thumbdrive.

Two things this company’s memory cards are known for are speed and reliability. For those that don’t go slow and that don’t go where others go, this is the storage you want to be using. I like the company and its products and use them more than any other brand for my own photo and video work. I hope their future contests go more smoothly.

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