Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's the Experience, Stupid

Some of the smartest marketing minds don't seem to get IT.

Some of the smartest marketing minds DO GET IT.

What's IT?

IT is the real reason people like you and me and your neighbor, and your spouse, and nearly every human being decide:

  1. What to Buy
  2. Who to Buy from
  3. When to Buy
The pessimistic economists and some in the news media say that we are slaves to prices. That we are driven by the mighty dollar and what it will buy.

It's this line of thinking prompts retailers to always have a sale, to the point that you feel stupid if you pay full price.

We have become numb to the price games.

We want more.

We want to feel important.

We want to feel valued.

We want someone to care about the things we care about.

We want to know that we are getting what we pay for, not just something cheap.

It's the experience we are after and here's two examples from my own life that illustrate this point:

In 2002, I bought a house that had no central air conditioning, and no duct work since the house had hot water heat.

I got two bids from two companies that I was familiar with that my parents had used years ago, or that I remembered from their decades of advertising. One bid was for $8,000. The other bid was for $8,500.

I spent the extra $500 from the company that impressed me with the way they treated me as a potential customer, and I was not disappointed. After the A/C was installed, they had to come back and make some adjustments, but they told me in advance that this was going to be necessary, and I continue to recommend them and use them.

The other story involves dry cleaning. I once was tempted to visit a different dry cleaner than my usual dry cleaner because of a special they were running.

Problem was, they told me it was going to be 5 days instead of the 24 hours I was used to at my usual dry cleaners to get my clothes back. I continue to be loyal to the one that provides the best service for my needs.

Now granted, there are certain stores that do both, provide good service and good prices.

But you can never lower your prices low enough to make up for bad service.

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