Did you watch the replay? It was a horrible call, maybe baseball’s worst ever, and absolutely robbed Armando Galarraga of his perfect game. But that’s baseball. Imperfect umpires are as much a part of the game as imperfect outfielders or imperfect fastball hitters.
Don’t like it, don’t play.
The same is true with brand identity and package design. Even today with all of our sophisticated market measuring technology, somebody has to make the call. And most surveys would suggest major league umpires have a better record than new product introductions. Our only advantage is the gift of the time for reflection, measuring with information the advantages and disadvantages of our decisions.
But even then we make mistakes. Ever hear of Frito Lay Lemonade, or Ben Gay Aspirin, or Colgate Kitchen Entrees, or Lifesavers Soda, or Pond’s Toothpaste, or Smith & Wesson Bicycles. All bad calls. But the marketers used their best judgment, just like Jim Joyce the umpire, and simply got it wrong.
“This was the most important call of my career, and I missed it, I simply missed it.” These were his words in the post-game interview.
My only hope is that we all handle our own mistakes with the same grace, honesty and directness. He didn’t equivocate, he simply called it as he saw it.
Designer, marketer, or umpire, that is the best any of us can do, and the most we can ask.