Monday, October 23, 2006

The Seventeen Dollar Hamburger.

A while back I blogged about making claims you can't back up. Here's an update.

There is a burger joint in my neighborhood that recently opened: Five Guys Famous Burgers. Apparently they're a small chain along the eastern seaboard. My original problem with them is that they use the word "Famous" when I've never heard of them. You can't be famous if I don't know who you are or what you do. Perhaps someday you'll BE famous, but you're not now, you're brand new. My "BS Meter" pegs.

Well, Julie & I finally went into this place over the weekend. All over their walls are articles from newspapers gushing about how great these burgers are. Hey, maybe there is something to this "famous" claim afterall.

We order: 2 cheeseburgers, 2 fountain drinks and one order of fries to share.

(Yes, this is a Five Guys burger...kind of smooshy)

What do you think 2 burgers, 2 pops & one order of fries costs? Would you believe SEVENTEEN DOLLARS?!

I'm here to tell you, the burger wasn't bad. Not the best I've had, but tasty. The fries are freshly cut every day, those were quite good. The Coke was just Coke from a fountain.

And it cost me SEVENTEEN DOLLARS to find this out.

What's happened now is that my perception of this place has changed, and no matter how great the burgers are, they're not a VALUE. I felt like I got taken to the cleaners. See, every one of us has a price for any product in our minds, it's what we feel the product is worth. If the actual price is below that mental one, we think we got value, if it's higher, we feel we got hosed.

Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction, with the Five Dollar Shake? Same thing here. To me, 2 burgers, 1 order of fries & a couple of pops simply aren't worth SEVENTEEN DOLLARS!

I won't be going back and that's too bad, because the burgers really aren't bad...but no burger is worth SEVENTEEN DOLLARS!

Here's the whole point to my rant: is your product or service a VALUE to your customers? If it is, great. If not, you may find it's awfully hard to sell Seventeen Dollar Hamburgers.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tighten your perception...with Zip Ties!

My blog today has to deal with taking pride in who you are & what you do...And Zip Ties.

I followed Julie to her office the other night after dinner, we were unloading her gear from the truck. Not that there's a lot of gear, but she is pregnant afterall and I sure could use the exercise lifting things...

Once done, she had to use the restroom. She describes AJ (the baby) as "Using my bladder as a trampoline." I'll take her word for it. While waiting at the front desk, I see an easel with a "press release" announcing the arrival of the practice's newest Doctor. On the last line...a type-o. I pointed it out to Julie...turns out, this was a print out of a page that went out to dozens of local offices.

(No, not THAT "Type O")

Nice. Anybody hear of proofreading?

So we head out to the parking lot & a banner catches my eye. It's for their office, offering Flu shots and it's draped across 3 small poles stuck in the lawn. Except it's only attached to two of the poles. And those two poles weren't stretched tightly so the whole thing sagged like a braless meemaw. Again, doesn't anybody step back and see that it looks jeehawed? This is representing a business that wants us to spend money with them.

So, I went to my trunk & got out some Zip Ties. Wrapped the banner up to ALL THREE of the posts, then pulled the posts taught so the banner looked as good as it could look.I know this sounds like a petty rant, but seriously folks...if it's something worth doing, it's worth doing correctly.

Remember that people SEE these things as a reflection of you & decide whether to use you or not based on these impressions. Think of the type-os and the sagging banners in your business, heck, in your, go fix them.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Proofreading: The Lost Art. Redux.

A few months ago, I wrote about a business who had a mistake on their TV commercial. Just so you know, that client is still on the air...and so is the goof.

This morning, I saw another one. As you may know, I'm a sportscar guy and as a fan of both cars & marketing this one really bugs me. A Mazda dealership is advertising the new Mazda MX-5 Miata sportscar. Right there on the screen, they spelled Miata "Maida." Yep. It wasn't caught by the company who produced it. It wasn't caught by the client. It's on the air influencing people...the wrong way.

Think about what you want people to know about you, then make sure that's what you're telling them. When you'd like a hand with that, drop me a line.

Personally, I'll never shop at that Mazda store...because they don't care to Say Something Important.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Kung Pao Marketing

Today my wife & I got to have lunch together. In our world, like yours I'm sure, that's a luxury that doesn't happen often. We went to a neighborhood Chinese place...ironically filled with Hispanics & Indians (we have much construction & a medical center in our town). Plus, their lead waitress isn't Chinese at all, rather, she's a very tall, young, redheaded white girl who would seem more at home saying "Kappa Gamma Delta" rather than "General Tso's Chicken."

But I digress...

Lunch was very good and as is tradition, we were each given a Fortune Cookie. Confuscious say "Hammer needs new blog material, feed him some." So, it was fitting that my Fortune said: "Words must be weighed, not counted."

I like that. You should too.

I once had a boss in Lansing, Michigan...I was the morning guy on his Top 40 radio station...& he'd call the studio hotline if (in his opinion), I talked too long. In fact, he once "hotlined" me DURING an interview with the Mayor of the city. Nevermind that we were entertaining or even offering up a public service. He was Counting, not Weighing.

Certainly, it's important HOW you say it, but more importantly it's WHAT you are saying.

What do you say about YOUR company? What do your customers remember about it? That's why it's so critical to Say Something Important.
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