Today I want to talk about marketing your business. Not from the perspective of “here is what you need to do” but rather from a methodology viewpoint.
There are a lot of business coaches out on the internet these days telling business owners that all they need to do is raise their prices if they want better returns. In some cases that does work and it works very well. In others, it can kill a business. So what’s the key to success?
One of the keys to success is when your business is in a position to deliver a consistent, positive, and a memorable experience with its customers. The truth is, if you are missing even just one of those areas your price hike can fail miserably.
Regardless of what your company does; whether it sells a commodity, good, or service…if you don’t learn to provide an experience for your customer you will not be able to enjoy the fruits of a premium pricing structure.
Here is the deal: We know when it comes to marketing, the very best campaigns are those structured around hitting the human beings five senses: What someone sees (sight), what they smell, what they hear, what they taste and what they touch.
Yet, why are so many businesses out there just throwing out “one-liners” with a cool picture and crossing their fingers?
Perhaps the perfect example of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing to the five senses would be Starbucks vs. a local cafe/coffee house.
Why do so many people continue to pay the premium prices of Starbucks over their local Cafe? Simple, it’s the experience they have and the value that is attached to it that keeps them coming back to Starbucks and emptying their wallets.
The coffee business really is the perfect example when it comes to marketing. Coffee can be a commodity, a good, or service, or all of them combined. Here is the key you need to take away…“where consumption embodies a heightened ambiance or sense of theater, consumers will shell out big bucks.”
Is Starbucks pretty good at providing an experience to its customers? I think so!
You walk into a Starbucks and what do you see? Perhaps you will see trendy, successful people along with a feel good atmosphere (sight). You smell their beans and bakery goods (smell) and your mouth waters and your senses are peaked. You hear cool tunes and typically upbeat conversations as people sit and talk or are waiting in line to place an order, further “amping” you up and getting your blood flowing. You can also pick up items and shop while you wait for your order (touch) and finally you get to taste the goods (taste).
This is what brings us back time and time again. Starbucks play to them all!
Now, think about that local Cafe or coffee shop in your area for a second. They will either offer a cheaper cup of coffee to attract you to their store or they will try and rely on their local “small business” presence to get you to become a regular patron at a similar price compared to Starbucks.
However, most seem to miss the mark!
How? They aren’t focused on delivering the right experience to the customers. Maybe its money or better yet, an attention to detail? Either way, most seem to skimp in multiple areas and the result is everyone drifts back to Starbucks because they miss the experience.
Let me give you another model of a company who delivers exceptionally when it comes to experience. Disney’s success can be attributed to its ability to sell indelible impressions, engage the senses to facilitate escapism and in the end create memories to all ages.
Their key to success lies in their ability to deliver a consistent, positive and memorable experience for their customer.
For me, I’m 47 years old and when I think back to the times I took my kids to Disney World or when I went as a kid and I went with my parents I can tell you that each trip has its own set of very happy memories. Memories that will have me taking my grand children to their park at some point in the future, regardless of the price they charge so they too can experience what I experienced.
So here is the big “aha” I want to bring to your attention. When it comes to marketing, are you just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks/works? Or are you taking the time to really dive deep into your business by tapping into the kind of customer experience you have in place and the atmosphere your website or business is set up to provide its customers?
In essence, when someone visits your website, meets with you directly or visits your bricks and mortar operation…are you delivering a consistent, positive and memorable experience to your customer?
If not, here is where I suggest you start:
- Create a consistent and well defined theme that ends up resonating throughout the customers entire experience with you and your company.
- Decide up front the impression you want to leave your customers throughout their time with you and deliver on it!
- Get rid of any negative cues such as; a bad attitudes, an unpleasant environment and the opportunity of intrusive behaviors sabotaging the time and experience the customer has with you and your company.
- Provide your customers with customer appreciation gifts such as; “Thank You” cards, T-shirts, and other memorabilia that will provide the customer with a reminder of their experience with you. This can absolutely influence the customer to repeat their business or to share stories about the good experience they had with you and your company with their friends and colleagues.
- Create ways to market your company, your services, your commodity around the five senses. The more senses that are engaged, the more memorable the experience.
My Word of Caution: Regardless of the experience you can create, no matter how well its delivered it will not supersede the laws of supply and demand. If it did, Starbucks would be selling you coffee at $100.00 a cup.
My Tip For You: However, if you will learn to approach your business and marketing while delivering an exceptional experience to your customers with some forethought and statistical analysis; you will find customers are happy to pay more for the experience.
Onward & Upward,