#MarketingTipMonday No. 61

It had all the signs of being a great restaurant:

  • A packed parking lot
  • An hour wait for dinner at 5:00 PM
  • First-come-first-serve only
  • 4.5 stars on yelp with 1,000+ reviews

And while the service was great, the meal was average — certainly not the best meal I ate on vacation in OBX last week. Whomp, whomp.

I’ve said this many times and will say it again: the cornerstone of a successful brand is fulfilling the promises that marketing makes throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey.

But in this case, I was let down by how the restaurant fulfilled my perception. What’s a marketer to do?

Here’s the truth: you don’t have complete control over people’s perception of you or your business. Marketing only goes so far. There’s also:

  • Experiences with your brand
  • Referrals and reviews from your customers (Hello, Yelp!)
  • Experiences with your competitors
  • Perceptions about your industry
  • Media representations of your product/service

Together, these factors create a perception of what an experience with your brand will be like. You’re judged against this perception, for better or worse.

The solution?

  • Fulfill the promises you make in your marketing, every time
  • Create the best customer experience you can
  • Don’t reconfigure your product or service to meet individual perceptions

If you’re proud of your product/service and it earns repeat business, then you’re on the right track.