Nice Try

An owner thought he was being helpful by showing his desire to help customers. It missed the mark.

It is always the execution that we stumble on.  We get the right idea with the wrong delivery.  I was passing a sign with the message “It Would be our pleasure to serve you” and had to take the picture.  It seems innocuous but, add the word “IF” to the end of the message and you have a whole new meaning. “It would be our pleasure to serve you IF we wanted to or IF we were done with our smoke break” is a sad message to send.  Any time you do not make a good, clear point, you lose credibility and putting a bland message out says a lot about who you are.

“It is our pleasure to serve you” is a better message, but what does it mean?  Why are you wasting prime space on your sign to make a throwaway statement?  Step up and sell me something.  Be funny or eye catching. Be bad, strange, or thoughtful, but be something that people will remember. That sign I saw made me think they are not worth my time.  From the number of cars driving by that had passengers that didn’t even look at the sign, I was right in my analysis.

The message you send to customers needs to be as thought out as any big advertising campaign. If you are not making the effort to do something that will draw customers into your store to buy, you are wasting time, money, and effort.

Years ago, I saw a tiny doughnut store that was packed.  I mean they had people who were getting kind of personal in they way they were crammed into the front of the store.  BUT, every one of them was smiling and waiting to spend money.  The sign at the front of the store said, “Fresh Doughnuts! If we drop them twice we throw them away!”  That was a bad message, but it was memorable.  It has been over twenty years since I visited that shop and I still talk about that sign and those doughnuts.  Did anyone really think they reused a doughnut that they dropped?  Maybe.  Did it keep some customers away?  Yes.  Why is that good?  The owners made it a point to target the customer base they wanted.  They wanted fun people who would put up with a tiny store and being packed in.  I bet you go somewhere that is not up to your standards as an owner, but keeps you coming back because of some bit of character the place created.

Never let your message be wasted on blah!

Bob Griffin


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