The poet John Lydgate once wrote: “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”, a quote that was subsequently adapted by Abraham Lincoln and bastardized by all manner of people. Whilst the sentiment may have been put into words by a poet, I’d suggest that it’s actually a law of human nature. At some point or another, and probably with some regularity, even the best of us will succumb to it. This applies to brands as well, which are effectively just manifestations of peoples’ ideas and actions. In the face of such inevitability the measure of person and, more pertinently for my purpose here, of a brand, is how it reacts when it has been the cause of disappointment.
I was invited earlier this year to attend a satellite tasting which was to be hosted by Dr. Bill Lumsden. There’s only one properly fit description for Dr. Bill – he’s a legend! This however obviously has its drawbacks, one of which is that it places incredible demands on his time. Dr. Bill was called away on urgent business and unfortunately was forced to cancel the tasting on short notice. I was disappointed, along with everyone else who’d been invited I’m sure, but I wasn’t given much time to reflect on my disappointment. A week or so later a courier pitched up at my door and delivered a package containing a bottle of Glenmorangie 18YO (signed by Dr. Bill) as well as a personal letter apologising for the cancellation.
I was blown away. This was sheer class. I’m already a big fan of Glenmorangie, but if ever my affinity needed affirmation, then this gesture did the trick tenfold. Dr. Bill, may the dram be with you!