The offline world still exists

May 12, 2008

Stowe Boyd posted his story about his experience with Clear, and “bet[s] that Clear is going to do everything wrong“.

More than the customer service aspect of it, one thing that really struck me is this. With all the focus on online tools and Web 2.0 and all, it’s really easy to forget the basics – the offline things. Basic things like the sign on a door.

There’s so much talk about how companies should join the online conversation, create more engagement online, make their online tools more personal, etc. It’s easy to forget that for most companies, a large part of the customer experience is still the offline aspect.

It’s a simple thing. But one that we need to remember. As companies, or as individuals building our personal brands, even. We need to remember that there’s still an offline component. It’s easy to forget, especially when we make changes, because online is so much easier to change. It’s easier to change a website than to change the sign on a door. But they’re both just as important.

You’ve got to make sure that what you say and do offline matches what your behavior online. Not everyone’s going to check your website all the time.

Yes, the web allows you to spread your message further and establish your brand more. But your brand still exists offline. You’ve got to pay just as much attention to the offline experience.

There’s still an outside world that exists offline.