Years back my wife and I were out for a bite to eat when we noticed the restaurant’s marquee:
Sizzlin’ Hot Lousy Steaks, Stale Beer and Poor Service
At first we were reluctant to try it out. I mean after all who wants to eat a lousy steak—even if it is sizzling hot. And stale beer, are you kidding? Who needs it?
But our curiosity got the best of us (the parking lot was full) so we pulled in to see what all the excitement was about.
The place was packed. In fact we had to wait a while to be seated.
While waiting to be seated I commented to the hostess, “Busy night, huh?” “Oh, this is about average for a Wednesday night.”
Once we settled in and got our food I knew why the place was packed. It was a no-brainer. The food was excellent—yes I ordered the lousy steak—it arrived hot and juicy and cooked perfectly. Our portions were generous, and beer was ice cold and fresh! Service was great. Prices were very reasonable. The atmosphere was friendly. A very pleasant dining experience all the way around.
We became regulars.
Are you starting the see the marketing lesson here?
The restaurateur’s under promised and over delivered. Their recipe for success was right on target. The outdoor sign grabbed your attention. And once in the place made darn sure you’d be back and tell your friends.
All too often you see marketers shouting, “we’re the best, we’re the greatest.” Then they promptly reward you by providing truly poor service, small portions, and do everything possible so you will not return.
They seem to rely on one-shot deals forgetting the potential in the lifetime value of their customers.
So why not overstate your vision rather than boasting in your advertising. That is get folks excited about doing business with you, while you (or your business) remain understated.
Give folks real, actual reasons for getting excited about doing business with you.
One of the best ways to do this is by circulating real-life anecdotes to your customers about how you’re delivered the goods!
Make sure these stories are unusual, even a little controversial, and even a bit wild! Demonstrate how you’re the first to implement something—so folks will feel something exciting is going on!
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of how Nordstrom did this with tires!
Yes, I we know Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires. And that’s exactly what makes the story do incredible and credible at the same time.
The story goes that a guy brought a bad, worn out tire in and asked for a refund. He got the refund!
The funny part is that Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires!
So why did Nordstrom reportedly issue the refund?
The answer: Nordstrom gained a happy customer. In fact gained many happy customers!
This story spread like wild fire. And the message was clear, “we solve your problem no matter who created it. We’ll take care of you.”
Was this act worth it?
I’d say YES. It’s reported Nordstrom earns more money per square foot than other department store.
So go ahead, under promise and over deliver. And don’t forget: Share the vision and get talked about!
Peace and Profits!
Emette E. Massey