When you buy (or receive) a 50c pen – do you expect it to work? Sure you do. This is the basic expectation of any product you buy, receive, or come across, regardless of its’ cost – you expect it to work. Making a widget that works is very good, but is it good enough?
When a product doesn’t meet your expectations, people will tell you – “you get what you pay for”. I don’t think this is still the case. Our basic expectation is different. We, as consumers, have raised the bar. If you run a restaurant, and your patrons don’t become ill after dining in your fine establishment – is that good enough, or basic expectation? When you serve the food heated, on a plate, with clean cutlery – that is very good – but it is not REMARKABLE!
When our basic expectations are met, the product or service become VERY GOOD. When the consumers’ basic expectations aren’t met, you get two types of complaints – people tell you about their unsatisfactory experience in two ways:
1. They verbalize – complain loudly, in words (talking , writing), and to you. This is good. You get feedback, and an opportunity to rectify.
2. They publicize – they walk away, unsatisfied, and tell the world. They will also never do business with you again. This is no good. You’ll learn about your dissatisfied customer too late. Your brand and reputation will be tarnished. (I’ll explore “handling complaints” in a future post. Stay tuned…)
Meeting expectation is not going to get you very far. Being REMARKABLE is. You need to create a WOW factor, something really unexpectedly FANTASTIC, to make you stand out, and successful.
Marketers always say, that the best form of advertising is WOM (always these damn TLA’s – three letter acronyms 😉 – Word of Mouth. How do you create this cheap form of advertising? You spend less on marketing, and more on product/service development. With a truly exceptional product, and marketing it to early adopters (people who are more risk orientated, and willing to try new things), the WOM advertising will take care of itself.
Think of the iphone: the best advertising method was to see the amazing interface, with a few cool apps, and you’re hooked (if you’re in the right demographics – of course)!
Hollywood produces over 300 movies a year! It is not uncommon to spend $20M (TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS!!!) on advertising, but if the movie is average, the producer will struggle to get ROI. The movie will have to be “something to write home about” to become a mega blockbuster. Why? because you get the audience to rave about the movie, and “sell” it to their friends and family. This is CHEAP, and very effective.
The Blair Witch Project was a low-budget movie. This means that there was no big bucks spent on celebrity actors, or Hollywood style advertising campaign.
According to Wikipedia, The Blair Witch Project grossed $248,639,099 worldwide, against a $22,000 budget. The film was featured in the Guinness Book of Records as having the highest profit-to-cost ratio of a motion picture ever, making back US$11,301.78 for every $1 spent.
What is REMARKABLE in your business? Are you VERY GOOD in whatever it is that you do? Do you satisfy your customers, or WOW them? Would you consider cutting your advertising spend, and move your budget to R&D (research and development)?