In his post Marketing on the Down-Low II, Heath asked how/if releasing, retracting, and re-releasing enhances customer loyalty. Jon Strande then commented that this marketing approach “… has NO benefit for the customer, just the company.”
I was reminded of a Harvard Business Review piece by Stephen Brown titled, Torment Your Customers (They’ll Love It) that addressed this very topic. (Be sure to click on the PREVIEW link – it will take you to a two-page overview of the article.)
In this article, he offers up an extremely contrarian view on marketing. Get a load of this sample quote, “Consumers are sick of being pandered to. They yearn to be teased, tantilized, and tortured by marketers and their wares. Just like in the old days.” Given the thread, this seems like appropriate reading for those interested.
Stephen is an advocate for retro marketing a la the hucksterism days of PT Barnum. He wrote a book on this topic. I’ve read both and the HBR article is worth picking up more than the book.