I see it every day. Every day I see local businesses trying to be cute or entertaining with their marketing or advertising and it leads to costing them business. There is a local coffee shop in the city where I live that has on its large coffee cup-shaped sign their name and their tag line which is: "Open Till We’re Shut". do they really think that's a good idea? Keeping with that logic, it’s going to be sunny till it’s dark. I’m going to be happy till I’m sad. What this business is communicating to me is that when I make a special trip to go there (the coffee shop is out of the way and not in a prime location), they may or may not be open. Guess who doesn’t go there? Me. I’m not taking the chance that they’ll be closed when I get there. Where do I go to get my coffee? Caribou. That’s right, a chain. But I like their product and I know when I can get it. The local coffee house lost my business because they got cute...they got too creative with an ambiguous underlying message of unreliability.
"As a consumer I need trust and reliability from those I do
business with. If you can't give me that, then I'm moving on and so are other consumers."
Then there’s an insurance company in the area who, in their television advertising, proudly proclaims that we’re: "The Home of the Secret Phone Number". Better yet, that same slogan is on the huge sign outside their business. If you are an insurance agent, why on earth would you think proclaiming having a secret phone number is a good thing? If I suffer a loss or get into a car accident after hours, do I really want to take the chance with an insurance agent that has a "secret phone number"? If I’m thinking about switching insurance companies, does that slogan indicate they’re easy to get in touch with? No. Again, as a consumer I need trust and reliability from those I do business with. If you can't give me that, then I'm moving on and so are other consumers.
There are three things you need to accomplish with your marketing and advertising:
1) be top of mind at the consumers' triggering event;
2) make it as easy as possible for people to connect with you and;
3) get people to walk in your door. That’s it.
Your advertising and marketing message isn’t about being cute or entertaining or even interesting...it’s about delivering your message in a compelling way that makes you the only logical choice to do business with when people need what you have to offer. That’s it. Simple. Not cute, not creative. Simple.
When you get cute in trying to be memorable or entertaining with your advertising or marketing message you can send an-other unintended message to people: don’t do business with me.