I had the pleasure, today, of trying something new with my Cocker Spaniel, Fia. Recently, our little chattering rescue ball of fluff of Who-Knows age, started having trouble with her hip. So off to the local vet we went. A bill to the value of half a month’s grocery shopping later, we were told that Fia has developed hip dysplasia and severe arthritis.
Not taking them up on the offer to operate, we decided that we’d take the long-term management option and change her eating habits, exercise routine and up her intake of vitamins and healthy stuff.
So we decided to try Raw Food feeding. Something we’ve never really tried for pets in the past, but with a good friend in the business, we thought we’d give it a go. Receiving our starter packs from Bruce, we start the intrepid process of chopping up raw veges, and mixing it with the relevant raw meat contents. (For the sake of my audience, I won’t go into too much detail right now).
If you’re a follower of my blogs, you’ll know that I tend to look at most situations and search for the lesson. And while I was standing in the kitchen, with food bowl in hand, the pungent smell of something I’d rather not know about wafting upwards towards my nostrils, I noticed my Cocker start to become more and more excited. And that’s where my lesson started.
The more I moved, the more she did. Her nose switched on, her ears alert, her eyes not moving from me. And she hadn’t even started. I had what she wanted, and once she’d locked on, it was very difficult to lose her.
She knew something was happening. And from what she could tell… it was going to be good…
Quick snapshot for the sake of positioning: Fia is a social eater. We buy good (pellet) food but she has never been a devourer. She eats when we’re around – and one pellet at a time. In fact, she’ll carry a few pellets into the lounge where we’re sitting, drop them all on the carpet, and then one-by-one pick them up to nibble, just so that she’s not eating alone.
Fast-forward to Raw Food Moment.
I have her sit, as I usually do. She does. I place the bowl in front of her. At this point, I know she loves the smell – and I know that she thinks she’s going to love this. But I have no idea whether what she tastes will match that which she has imagined it to be.
She tastes some more.
It doesn’t stop there.
She continues to clear that bowl until the very last piece of raw carrot and parsnip is cleared.
Her experience completely matched up to the image I’d created for her in her mind.
How often do we as business folk make the fatal mistake of building such a great impression – that by the time our customers taste what we’re selling, we leave them disappointed, let down, fed up, looking for somewhere else to eat?
Perhaps it’s time for you to ask yourself whether you’re serving that which you’re creating.
Perhaps it’s time we test it out.
Why not get in touch with Fresh Brew Marketing today and let’s make that recipe work.
Raw Food supplied by Keeping It Raw in Bridport. Check them out on Facebook today.
Recently, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to discuss branding, and what it represents, with local businesses. As the matriarch of the Marketing family, the Brand-mama is what sets the course for any other marketing activity that you undertake. At least it should.
And as I delved into my favourite Marketing books and blogs to get a feel for the latest brand misfits vs fliers – I was instantly reminded of a telephone conversation I’d had recently which perfectly proved a branding point.
We have been looking for an IT partner to work alongside – someone who we could call on for help, whenever we needed it. We’re doing this – because a). We need it and b). There is just very little chance of me being able to keep up to speed with what we need to keep the ship sailing. I don’t know my Microsoft Exchange from my Amazon Web Server – and thought it best to leave it to the people who do.
So I google. And I happen upon a business that provides exactly that. I also recall working with them in previous years, and feel confident that they’re the ones for us. Their website looks great – I understand what they do – I feel akin to how they can help me. They’re the ones.
Dial the number.
A timid female (gender being completely irrelevant here actually) answers the phone with the highest pitched voice I’ve heard since leaving high school.
(What is it with women feeling the need to raise the pitch of their voices to sound friendlier, more approachable, more helpful? I digress).
I explain to her my situation and that I’m looking to speak to someone about what they offer and how they can help my business.
She says, “OK. ”
Nothing more. Just “OK”. And remains on the line.
Thinking she’d put me through to someone in her sales team, I bumble along and say, “Oh, do I speak to you?” – to which she answers, “You can do”….
(Already not feeling this first experience much… I pursue my cause).
After explaining my bit, she starts to bumble along – and without explaining anything about their services, immediately starts to tell me about how I can pay for them.
Not what I’d asked, but I tolerate.
After a few more moments of me sitting with my mouth slightly open, and my head resting in my hands, I interrupt her (I admit, I may have sounded slightly impatient, but she was carrying on quite a bit – and the smell of someone’s cooking distracted me) and asked whether I could arrange to come and speak to someone, in person, and discuss the specific technical requirements I have.
We agree that a chap called Nathan* will call me to set up an appointment.
I thank her, and hang up.
Slightly frustrated by this entire interaction, I ponder her representation of Company X for a while over a cuppa, and I realise. She, to me, was their brand.
And it was rubbish.
The representation was unclear, timid, insecure in offering. It was one-man-band, just-doing-enough, slightly highly-strung. I look back at their website and I explore their social media, their tone of voice, their positioning. Very contradictory to the experience I’d just had. Hardly the upfront, no-messing-about, straight-talking, service-focussed message I get from their written presence depicted online.
Who do you have, in your business, that misrepresents your brand? The chap at reception that is waiting for pension-age to approach? The grumpy woman that makes the tea when the board visit? They all represent your brand.
The good thing is – there’s still time to do something about it.
I challenge you – Mystery Shopping works. Undercover Boss works. Review your team and make sure that they represent who you are, as you’d like to be known.