Before I pitch my idea, here’s a quick story.
Think about supermarkets. They all have the same core business. They all sell similar things and we all get a similar experience when we shop in them; pick and choose, buy and get out. Sharpish.
That said, my Gran - a women not easily pleased - was recently in a supermarket in Leeds. She picked, she chose, she bought and just as she tried to get out, it started raining. Lord knows she hates getting wet.
Lucky for her, the canny store manager placed a man with an umbrella outside the supermarket, walking grateful customers to their cars.
Needless to say, that’s now the supermarket of choice for Granny Fraser and all her spending. In fact, if you were to ask her what she remembers about her many years of supermarket trawling, it’d be that man with that umbrella.
Queue my point.
Inexpensive, simple things can make a whole lot of difference to how you and your business is perceived. It’s all about adding a little charm.
Sex-talk and tips
For me, Marks and Spencer are charming. And I’m not just talking about Noemie Lenoir flexing in a frilly matching set. I’m talking about the food voice-overs capable of kneecapping every man, women and child with the promise of a “12-day matured forerib of beef with horseradish sauce”.
But they’re right. Food shouldn’t be just food. Much like a marketing agency shouldn’t be just that.
In short, it’s the business that attaches the best experience to its products and services that everyone remembers. It can amplify a brand way beyond its given potential.
So. Two things to take away from this:
1. Take this personally
What’s your charm? Is it something as small as sending a hand-written letter of thanks after an event? Or, instead of the lame Xmas email, why not send your customers a Valentine’s card instead? I always try to smile on the phone because I know a smile can be heard at the other end.
2. Take this as a team
Maybe everyone should be briefed before a client visits so that each team member gets-up for individual, personal introductions? Perhaps challenge clients to a game of table football to break the ice, and chalk-up an easy win?
However you choose to make a difference, I’ll leave you with this.
When I was travelling around Australia, I began complaining to a bus driver about wanting to stop at a service station. He refused and continued to refuse for hours. However, one service station was sign-posted a mile away and in big letters the sign read “Amazingly clean toilets”. Then one mile down the road and without further pestering the driver turned in.
Whoever ran that service station had found their charm.
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