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.
- 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.