Here’s a quick reminder for all of you would-be meaningful marketers out there: Execution is everything. This reminder comes thanks to a company called Pure Energy, which makes a line of “charging pads” for mobile phones and other small consumer electronics products.
I’ve been on the road a lot lately, and the one place where I seem to continually end up is the Delta Sky Club of whichever city I happen to be flying into, out of, or through. The Sky Club is an oasis of relaxation and concentration during the countless hours of waiting for a delayed flight. In fact, I’ve spent so much time there lately that I’m starting to see them appear in my dreams. Anyway, during the past few months I noticed that my Sky Clubs have sprouted something called a “Wild Charger” scattered on tabletops throughout the facilities. After watching people puzzle over them for weeks, I finally took the opportunity to see what they were about for myself.
With a little examination and a somewhat helpful table tent, I figured out that these are a type of device charger you can use to juice up without fighting for an outlet with the road warriors next to you. At first I just tossed my iPhone onto the charging mat, but nothing happened. The helpful sign said I needed to ask someone at the front desk for a charging device, so I did. The Delta folks first warned me that “I hear they don’t work for Blackberry.” Then they gave me a key chain full of connectors in return for keeping my driver’s license hostage. I returned to my seat, plugged the right adapter into my phone, set it on the charging pad, and saw… nothing. No charge, no magic, no juice. I double-checked to see that the thing was plugged in, tried another nearby pad, and got the same nothing. I even tried charging my iPad. Alas, I gave up and retrieved my license, letting the staff know that “they don’t work on iPhones either.”
Thus, a great idea in meaningful marketing falls flat because of poor execution. I’m sure Pure Energy has grand plans behind its tie-in with Delta Sky Club. After all, can you imagine a better-concentrated target audience? What a great way to engage them with a little free energy during their free time. And I’m sure Delta was more than willing to offer the featured space as a way to give visitors another perk.
But execution is everything, my friends, and Pure Energy is not only losing potential customers, but it is generating negative word-of-mouth every time their system fails. Contrast this to Samsung, whose recharging stations in more than 150 airports and college campuses keep working well and winning fans.