Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week Coffee Cup

Even the best companies mess up from time to time and, when they do, they say sorry.

They take responsibility for their error, put their hands in the air and admit their mistake without waiting for the customer to point it out.

They say sorry in the words you would use when apologising to a friend. “I’m sorry” or “I’m really sorry” sounds much more genuine than “We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

They try to make amends by offering a discount or a special deal.

The smartest brands also make their apology appropriate to their industry. The picture shows how one Edinburgh coffee shop says sorry.  Can you follow their lead and turn frowns into smiles?

Visit Only Marketing’s Learning Academy for tips and guides on improving customer care.

Thought For The Week

Roundel

When the First World War broke out in 1914, ground troops would fire at all aircraft flying overhead as it was impossible to distinguish friend from foe.

To ensure British soldiers fired only at enemy aircraft, a blue, white and red roundel was painted under the wings and on the sides of the fuselage of Royal Flying Core planes.

I use the roundel today when working with brands to identify the customer groups they should target with their marketing firepower.

A brand’s core customer should be the red circle at the centre of the roundel. That’s where the maximum blast of marketing firepower should be directed.

By constantly hitting the bullseye and delighting your most important customers, you will also impact secondary and tertiary audiences.

Successful brands know exactly who their core customers are. Failing brands often don’t have a clue. They are like the soldiers of 1914, firing at any plane they spot in the sky.

A Lesson From Dopey

Dopey

Who’s your favourite dwarf? I bet it’s Dopey!

He’s not smart, good-looking or even humorous, so why is he more popular than his six brothers?

We love him because he’s honest, guileless and he’s not bothered if others think he’s a bit slow on the uptake.

If he doesn’t know something, he’s prepared to admit it and ask the daft question.

It’s a lesson we all should learn, yet so often, we don’t want to admit our lack of knowledge – especially when we are in a group of our peers.

Amazingly, the dope who has the courage to ask the obvious question usually turns out to be the smartest person in the room!

Thought For The Week

On the front page of last Thursday’s Daily Mail was a terrible photo of Twiggy atop of a headline that screamed – Can that be Twiggy, face of L’Oreal?

Sprawled across two inside pages was another unflattering photo accompanying a venomous story by someone called Sebastian Shakespeare attacking the L’Oreal ambassador and face of Marks & Spencer for shopping in her local M&S store in what he implied were pyjama bottoms.

The tawdry piece said more about the newspaper and the bile of Mr Shakespeare than Twiggy, M&S or L’Oreal.

I’m sure, the cheap-shot coverage will do nothing to damage the brands or detract from Twiggy’s position as a role model for the over 65s.

Might it even be further proof for the claim – there is no such thing as bad publicity?

I am reminded of a quote by a rather more famous member of the Shakespeare clan that Sebastian – there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so!

Bird Brain Brilliance

I’ll never forget the day I saw two giant white pelicans mugging a Japanese couple in London’s St James's Park as they were about to tuck into a box of sushi.

The tourists were on the verge of biting into a fish and rice parcel when the pelicans waddled up, flapped their mighty wings and caused the startled visitors to flee for their lives – leaving behind a boxful of sushi.

As the birds tucked into their plunder, it struck me there is no such thing as a free lunch even for pelicans.

To the victor go the spoils and the birds got their lunch by instigating a daring and perfectly timed strategy to seize their prize. The price of failure would have been empty stomachs.

In the world of business, it is usually the most ambitious brand with the most daring marketing strategy that wins the day.

As marketers we must think big and resolve to be highly innovative because the price of thinking small is actually greater than the cost of achieving exceptional results!