Thursday, September 21, 2006

The importance of EVERY transaction

Every business has a bad day. The key is not letting your customers feel it.

My wife and I recently had a date night and went to one of our favorite restaurants. Because of the crazy hours involved in the advertising business, date nights are rare for us. We have to make each one special. So naturally, our favorite restaurant was having a bad day. The food was bad, and the service slow. People at tables around us were quite verbal about their feelings. We decided to simply smile and tell the waitress everything was great. She was having a bad day and it wouldn't do any good for us to jump on the bandwagon. The thing is, not everyone is as understanding as I am.

What the owners may never realize is that they were paid $25.00, but they lost so much more. We trusted them with our precious time, as we have in the past. That trust was betrayed. The next time date night rolls around, I'm not sure we would trust them again.

Most people would then proceed to tell all their friends about the bad experience. I'm not going to do that, because I genuinely want this restaurant to succeed. However, every business needs to realize it's not about you. It's entirely about the customer their mind set towards you. These days, time is as precious as money. Whether they are trusting you with time or money, you have to deliver 100% every time. You never know who's date night you'll ruin.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

Oh! That hurt big time!

I knew I was missing something by not watching those home shopping networks.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Building brand loyalty through good design

Ask me what kind of shampoo I use. Go ahead.

Garnier Fructis.

I'm a guy, I shouldn't car what shampoo I use, right? Right. And yet, here I am, loyal to a particular brand of shampoo. Why? Because of well thought out design. Does the shampoo make my hair look different than any other? No. I don't really care. What I do care about is the fact that the bottle is designed well.

See, the shampoo my wife is loyal to has a lid that you practically have to pry open with a knife. Not convenient when showering. I've always hated that thing. Along come Garnier with their bottle. The lid has a ball molded on the end so it's easy to push with one finger and pop open. Because of that one feature, I'm now loyal to a brand. Without that feature, I probably never would have used Garnier. Fructis just sounds a little too fruity for my taste.

Once again, great design wins the day. Because someone didn't settle for "good enough" on their lid design, they sell a few extra bottles a year. How often do you settle for "good enough" when it comes to design.

The "Asian" brand

Driving through many towns, you may notice a sign (usually in a shopping center) that simply says "Asian." Usually in bold red letters. Everyone knows it's a place to get Asian food.

My question is: Is there more value in simply using the word "Asian" as your brand than in building a unique identity? Sure building your own brand can be a long and hard process. Plus, if you don't know what you are doing, you can build a bad brand far easier than a good one. So is it just easier to piggy-back on the already established Asian brand? It is easier, but ultimately it's a mistake. Asian? So what? It doesn't speak to me as a consumer. If I see a McDonald's sign, I know exactly what to expect. If I see the famous Chili's sign, I know what to expect. What does Asian say? Nothing. You don't truly know what the food or atmosphere will be like.

But maybe I'm wrong. I've seen this multiple times in different cities.

So now ask the question, what does your brand say to people?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hot Off the Presses

We just recieved our first copies of the first issue of the Business Journal. It turned out great, but the deadlines were responsible for a complete lack of posting here. I want to thank Hal, Lainey, Michael, Pat and Tommy. It turned out incredibly well and is probably one of the smoothest "1st Issues" we've ever been involved in.