Sometimes what sounds like a great idea has such a poor business model that it is doomed to failure. No brand message, no matter how smart and thoughtful will ever save it. Here is a perfect example.
The other night my wife and I thought maybe there might be a decent movie at one of our local theater so we went online like usual (see my blog yesterday about that particular movie here), googled Movies.com and got a listing of the movies that were playing. After checking the movie reviews on Rottentomatoes.com we decided on a movie called Splice. I then clicked back to Movies.com to check on the times and I noticed that Splice allowed me to purchase my tickets on-line — ahead of time. I hadn’t used this type of service to purchase movies but I always order my concert and Broadway tickets online so I thought I might as well.
When I clicked on “buy now” it brought me to another website called Fandango where I actually made the purchase. Because I had not used this service before I wasn’t sure if I would actually be able to print out my tickets (as I hoped) or if I would just get a confirmation (as I feared). It turned out to be the latter.
The confirmation I received instructed me to print out and bring the confirmation copy and the credit card used for purchase to the box office window.
Once at the theater, guess what I had to do? That’s right. I had to wait in a long line to get to the box office. Once it was my turn, I handed the confirmation and my credit card to the box office attendant who it seemed took forever to finally locate the tickets I had pre-paid for.
Why I or anyone would ever pre-pay for a movie again I don’t know as it was less convenient than if I had just waited in line and bought my tickets directly from the theatre. There were more steps involved and more time wasted. My experience with Fandango was an example of what we quite often see companies do: confuse purpose with process. Using Fandango should have made my theater experience quicker and more convenient but instead it made it more of a hassle.