There's a difference between speed and acceleration. This is hard for novice physics students to grasp. Velocity ( sometimes confused with speed) is how fast you're going in a given direction. Acceleration is a measure of how quickly you're getting faster (or slower) on your way.
Brands today are built on relationships, and relationships of all kinds work solely because of expectation. That thing we're confidently hoping we're going to get from that next encounter.
The shift we're facing is that expectation isn't the speed (the quality, the value, the repeatability of an interaction), it's now become more like the acceleration of it, the change in what we expect.
And so advertisers and fashion houses and singles bars and Hallmark cards are built on promises. The promise of what to expect next.
The challenge: Expectations change. A few good encounters and we begin to hope for (and expect) great encounters. Sooner or later, our expectation for a politician or a motorcycle company or a service we regularly engage in goes up so much it can't be met.
When the economy is racing forward, people are engaged and satisfied. When it slows, when the good news slows down, people are even less satisfied than they were when they had fewer resources.
A common ridiculous expression is, "expect the unexpected." Of course, once you do that, it's not unexpected any more, is it?
Expectation is in the eye of the beholder, but expectation is often enhanced and hyped by the marketer hoping for a quick win. And there lies the self-defeating dead end of something that would serve everyone if it were a persistent positive cycle instead.