Ok, so this certainly isn’t a tragedy of the epic scale of my first post in this series on United/Ted. However this Marketing blunder is more stupid as I can’t for the life of me figure out even an ill conceived but well meaning reason for it. So, it’s a Real Tragedy in Marketing.
I was at the supermarket today and was checking out. The Point of Sale (POS) terminal that the clerk was using had a flat panel LCD screen attached. It’s the one that shows what you’re buying and the price while things get scanned. It worked fine. The really curious part was the label on front of LCD panel. Not a sticker, but a real silk-screened logo that someone in the graphics art profession spent an hour or so on and some Marketing VP ok’d.
It read “Marketed by IBM”.
I guess what that means is that IBM concedes the fact that they need an LCD panel as part of their POS system. And while they would have preferred to build the panel themselves there just wasn’t time to do so. And as a result they were forced to bundle another manufactures panel into the POS system. However, this action was so painful to them they felt the need to alert me and Anita (the clerk) as to this "violation" of brand promise.
After all can you image the public embarrassment to IBM that would result if that panel would not properly display the 1982 era “Times-Unreadable” font generated by the IBM POS processor?
Once again… You just can’t make this stuff up.