Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
You know what I realized yesterday when I was making my lunch? That English muffins really don't deliver on the promise they make.
I'm pretty sure you know what I'm talking about too.
I'm guessing that you know that moment of grabbing an English muffin, looking at the edge, seeing that it has that cut line all the way around and thinking to yourself, "Sweet, it's pre-cut!" But then you try to split it in half and without fail, the cut only goes a little way in and the pressure you exert to split the muffin in half always results in little pieces getting torn off and you end up with four quarters or maybe even eight little pieces of muffin - it's a disaster. That might be a bit strong, but I think you know my frustration here.
Intentional or not - that cut line is a promise broken.
It's a great analogy for brands in terms of delivering on promises. We all probably know the promises we make to our audiences, but what about the unintentional promises we make to them or the expectations that they bring to the table? Do we know what those are? Do we answer those expectations?
If you're a church, probably one of the biggest promises that people expect to have fulfilled when they come through your doors is to find a building full of healthy, well adjusted, happy, welcoming people. What they find, however, is often very different. They find a lot of the same kind of people that they find outside the building too. They might find the happiness, but they'll also find sickness, divorce, pride, etc. They don't realize that churches can't claim to be a place full of perfect people.
From a Christian's perspective, it may seem like an unfair thing to expect of a church, because any true Christian would agree that church is not a place for the perfect. But, if we don't recognize, acknowledge, and speak to that expectation, people see that as a promise broken.
We can't always change the expectations that our audiences bring to us and/or the unintentional promises we make to them. But we can communicate effectively around them so as to turn weaknesses into strengths.
Kinda of like this:
English muffins aren’t meant to be sliced. To prepare them at their best, they should be purchased whole and the perimeter perforated using a fork so the muffin can then be torn apart before toasting. This leaves lots of irregular nooks and crannies so when they are buttered, they are even more succulent.(http://z13.invisionfree.com/annabbyandus/ar/t24009.htm)
Suddenly, I'm less irked about the whole muffin/cut line thing.