Every Sunday, my wife and I make sure our kids are in bed well before 9 pm. We tell them it's because they have school the next day and we want them to be well-rested, and that's absolutely true... but that's also only part of the reason.
The other part of the reason is that Amazon Prime Video has promised a new episode of Yellowstone will be available on the platform every Sunday at 9 pm EST.
My wife and I love watching that show, and we don't want it to be interrupted by kids who haven't yet fallen asleep. So we get the bedtime routine started a little bit early on Sunday evenings. You know, because it's important for the kids to be really well-rested for school.
Last Sunday, my wife and I were settled on the couch at 8:59 pm, eagerly waiting for Yellowstone Season 4, Episode 5 to be available. And at 9 pm...
... nothing happened.
I tried refreshing the Amazon Prime Video app, several times. Nothing.
I tried restarting my Amazon Fire Stick. Nothing.
I tried resetting my router. Still nothing.
The latest episode simply wasn't available.
And I wasn't the only one who noticed; Twitter was full of "where's my Yellowstone, Amazon" comments from people who, like me, relied on Amazon Prime Video to deliver us our Duttons at a predictable time each week. None of those comments were flattering.
My wife and I decided to watch a different show while we waited to see if the delay was temporary -- hello, Dexter: New Blood! -- but by 11 pm when it was clear we weren't going to be enjoying Yellowstone that evening, we went to bed, disappointed.
I'm writing this post on Sunday at 4:45 pm, and I hope to be watching Episode 6 of Yellowstone in a little over four hours.
But I'm not 100% sure that's going to happen.
Prior to last week, I had full confidence in Amazon Prime Video's ability to deliver a new episode every Sunday at 9 pm. But last week something happened (I still don't know what), and now my confidence is lower. I still love Amazon and their streaming video service... but today I trust them a little bit less than I did last week.
Obviously, not getting to watch a favourite television show when you want to watch is a pretty tiny problem, relatively speaking, but last week's Yellowstone delay does illustrate a pretty critical lesson for brands.
Muhtar Kent, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company said, "A brand is a promise. A good brand is a promise kept."
He's absolutely right.
So if you're going to make a promise to your customers, make sure you're able to keep it.