This is what I was told as a freshman at West Point…
If you’re not early, you’re late.
To this day I hate being late, and don’t like being on time, as I prefer to always be about 5 to 10 minutes early.
Last night, I thought about this quote as a metaphor for a different context: expectations.
If you don’t exceed expectations, you won’t meet expectations.
My Georgia Aquarium Halloween Experience
Yesterday, my wife and I took our children to the Georgia Aquarium for Halloween. Of course the Georgia Aquarium was nice; the sea creatures were a beautiful spectacle. But we didn’t necessarily go for the fish.
We went because it was Halloween and we wanted to take our kids to a safe place to enjoy the Halloween festivities. The Georgia Aquarium website marketing made the case for it being the ideal family Halloween experience, and we bought it…hook, line, and sinker…
The Halloween part of the experience was just okay (possibly less than okay). My wife and I both thought that it wasn’t quite festive enough. In hindsight, based on the cost of entry for the Georgia Aquarium, I would say the experience was disappointing.
We weren’t disappointed because we didn’t get what we expected, we were disappointed because we only got what we expected. They checked all the boxes, that’s it. A little this, a little that, nothing more.
This type of thinking may apply to items perceived as pricey more than anything else. It may be a bit of a drag to know you can meet your customer’s expectations and still disappoint them. But this feeling is real nonetheless.