Can a brand treat customers with disdain and yet be successful?

Brand loyalty depends a lot on context. For example, there are some nasty, rude doctors that patients swear by and will gladly recommend them to friends and relatives. His tough demeanour actually adds to his charm and incidents of his short temper only add to his reputation. While this might be an odd example, I have an example of a regular customer facing bakery that has built its reputation on it’s brusque and eccentric behaviour towards customers

Tucked away on East Street, Pune, Kayani Bakery is more than 50 years old. It has old fashioned high ceilings and all the goodies are kept in glass cases. The products are packed in quaint boxes and there is always a crowd pushing and jostling to buy their favourite cakes and biscuits. The people manning the counter look bored and will not answer any queries about the products. They take great pride in declaring that the product is not available and this makes people more anxious to get their hands on Kayani’s offerings.

This goes against the grain about whatever we have been taught about customer – centric organizations and brands making great efforts to enhance customer delight across all points of the customer interface.

So what is it that works for this cantankerous brand – this can be answered in one word – PASSION – for the products they make.

At the end of the day all their products are superb and people simply know it – there are no websites or brand identity design or promotions – “take it or leave it” has been their attitude for half a century now and in this world of over hyped products, Kayani Bakery is truly a breath of fresh air. Sometimes all you need to build a great brand is a truly great product and dedication to keep it so and all the rest will look after itself.

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