Why You Could Steal A Car And Your Customers Would Still Ignore You

Leaving IKEA a while back we were met with the repeated honk, honk, honk of a car alarm. As we got to our car, I saw that the driver was in it, with it running, and suffering the embarrassment of a malfunctioning alarm.

“Poor guy,” I thought to myself and we continued on our way.

While driving home I started to think about how crazy it would be if that guy wasn’t able to shut off the alarm. He would be driving down the street honking his horn for no apparent reason (at least that’s how it would appear to everyone else). Aside from being maybe just a little bit comical at first, that would not be fun.

But that’s the moment when the real issue hit me. What’s the point in having a car alarm anymore?

Instead of arousing suspicion and drawing attention to a possible car thief, we, along with everyone else in that parking lot, couldn’t help but feel sorry for the guy feverishly trying to get the vehicle to cooperate.

Was he the owner? Well of course he was….right? He definitely wasn’t a persistent thief attempting to steal the SUV despite the alarm. There’s no way. Well I don’t think so anyway.

Think about your own experience with car alarms. Have you ever heard one going off that wasn’t simply a false alarm? Has hearing a car alarm ever driven you to take action?

Therein lies the problem. We’ve all learned through repeated exposure not to be on alert when we hear a car alarm. We just tune it out.

Don’t Be A Car Alarm

I couldn’t help but relate this to advertising and the shift in marketing. Just like with car alarms, turning up the volume and making your marketing more obtrusive, does nothing to help get your message across.

As a result of our repeated exposure we’re all experts at ignoring advertising, and just like with car alarms, no matter how loudly you crank it up, we’ll still ignore it.

I know this isn’t a revolutionary concept, but hopefully this serves as a little reminder to change with the times. There was a time when car alarms and traditional interruption based marketing both were successful, but that time’s long gone. Today’s success lies in building relationships.

What happens when you build relationships is that people want to support what you do, not because you are loudly blaring your alarm, but because they know you and would hate to see someone steal your car.

One response to “Why You Could Steal A Car And Your Customers Would Still Ignore You”

  1. Qrystal Avatar

    Sounds like the story of The Car that Cried Wolf.