I would begin with apologising to my loyal readers (all four of you) for the time I have taken since the previous article. This month has been a little more hectic than I had planned for and those of you who know me personally, might know exactly why. Before I get down to jotting my learning from some interviews I had taken, I wanted to share this interesting and amusing story.

If you follow me on Linkedin, you may have seen that I have recently entered the corporate field again. This story takes place one late evening on the way back home.

The journey from Andheri East to Bandra takes about 40 minutes to an hour. I was still discovering all the options of the routes I could take back home during the first week working here so I would heavily rely on Google Maps to check traffic (like most of us do).

One evening I found an auto-rickshaw very near office and contrary to what happens normally, he called out to me and asked where I wanted to go. I told him. What happened next was what kept my mind occupied for the entire journey.

(for sake of privacy, I would replace my home address with ‘X Road’)

The Rickshaw driver exclaimed – Oh! You want to go to X Road? We will take the highway as there is no traffic there. Then I will show you this great shortcut that would take you right from the highway to X Road.

I was pleasantly surprised. So, I asked him to go ahead and show me this secret road that I hadn’t known of for the past 26 years of staying at X Road. Now to think about it, the way to get from the highway to my lane is simple. Very few turns, if I really think about it, but you need to know what you are doing, as getting lost in those lanes is also simple.

All along the highway I was evaluating what road I had missed for such a long time and how this new route would improve travel times. I hate to admit, but I was excited.

The closer and closer we got to Bandra, I would look out for places he could turn and almost like Platform 9 and 3 quarters, take me through some seemingly hidden road.

Nothing of that sort happened.

Yes, the highway was emptier than usual that day, so travel time was about a half hour (which is a miracle in itself). The road was fairly straight – first the highway and then right after the highway, a few turns. The driver just knew what he was doing, but so did I. It was no ‘secret shortcut’ which the driver had sold to me.

After that massive let down, I realized two different concepts in marketing.

Good marketing and communication can make a seemingly mundane product look exciting – while on the other hand – Over selling a bad (or in this case, normal) product can make it fall short of the expectations created in the mind of the customer.

It was very rightly said by David Ogilvy, that – “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.