A reliable source related this story to me today.
A woman parked her car by the library. She took her toddler out of the car seat, and the child ran to the library. The woman chased the boy, then returned to the car to feed the meter. But she was too late. A meter reader was already there, writing the ticket. Apparently the meter reader had been close enough to witness the whole incident, but nonetheless felt the need to issue the citation.
Branding experts will tell you that a brand needs to express its values all the way through the organization, but especially where it contacts the public. Touchpoints, they call those. As El Paso scrambles to cover its financial shortfalls, it has shifted its focus from offering a quality brand experience to squeezing every last quarter from its market.
Do you think the money extracted from a parking ticket will make up for alienating someone who already goes downtown? The most likely person to go downtown in the future is someone who goes downtown in the present. Ask the mayor. He understands retail. Expanding your market is much harder than hanging onto the market you already have. Repeat customers offer the biggest bang for your marketing buck.
Brand El Paso continues to shoot itself in the foot.