All this talk about building connections between brands and people makes me wonder: Are people more removed from markets and brands than they were ever before? And because people feel this distance, have all of us become very needy, selfish and, yes, narcissistic?

Middle Seat? Why should I sit in a middle seat, why not the guy next to me?

Contracts? There’s always a way out of a contract.

Sold out? There’s always a way to get me a ticket.

This idea of an ‘Everyone but me’ economy is not limited to brand experiences, we can see it everywhere: Politics (Why should I pay more taxes when “they’ don’t pay enough?), Education (Why should my kid go to this school when I can find some tricks to get into a better much school district?)

What happens when everybody considers themselves to be an exception?

Sure, airlines can develop 5,451 different status levels, ensuring boarding will take at least 15 hours. We can develop more rankings, rewards and badges to celebrate our specialness. But, does this scale? Obviously not. Most importantly, as long as you don’t have the super-hyper-really-duper-special status, you don’t feel special. Moving from middle seat to a window seat is nice. But, why didn’t they move me to First Class? Why this other guy? The risk for brands to fall into the ‘Everyone but me’ reward trap is that nothing besides the super-premium product feels special.

Brand expectations are immensely high. We want an answer on Twitter in a few minutes, a discount or an upgrade for any inconvenience. Sure, brands have done a lot to foster this climate: Outsourcing customer-facing divisions, making it impossible to get a human response, creating mile-high expectations through marketing and delivering sub-par experiences. And, let’s not forget the constant bombardment of special deals, special treatment, ‘just for you’ offerings.

Instead, brands should focus on delivering superior product/service experiences to more people. The same superior experience to more people. In a perfect world, to everyone.

Of course, everyone but me.