I am A Knight, Marketing
I mould brand assets to empires. Conquer consumers’ hearts & minds with messaging. And slay the dragons of negative Influencers to develop brands your kingdom will love. I am A Knight, Marketing, and I develop brands to conquer empires!
Ok. So, full disclosure, I’m not that cheesy. But I love that pun.
When I got my first job as a marketing assistant at Valuechain, we had a round office table that we held internal meetings at. So, on my second day, when I accepted a meeting at the round table from one our product designers, it appeared in her inbox with the message “A. Knight has accepted your meeting at the Round Table.”
Impressively, in my 22 years, I had never made the “A Knight at the Round Table” pun! or actually any kind of Knight of Camelot pun…
And years on, this remains my favourite pun. It’s obvious, yes. But you’d be surprised at the lack of round tables that I get invited to – which means it rarely comes up.
However, for all my liking of this pun, I’m not going to present myself as A Knight, Marketing. The problem is that if you met me, you’d likely expect a majestic bravado fuelled knight to save all the lands of your business… and you’d be bitterly disappointed.
And that’s something that small businesses often get wrong.
A great idea is not always the right idea for your brand
Brands are borne out of the true vision of the business. The culture of the people. The common goal you’re trying to achieve. And I’m not talking about the ‘vision statements’ you see on global brands nowadays, but the true reason your company or product was created. What is it that separates you from everyone else? What problem was there in the market that prompted your company into being and gaining traction? And why is it that your customers choose you?
That’s where you get a really powerful vision statement.
With much of your company communication, what you’re really trying to do is match the customer expectation to the customer’s experience.
By that, I mean how does what your customers see and hear about you compare to what they experience when they use your product/service?
If your brand messaging tells customers all about your excellent product, yet when they try to use your product it’s decent and does the job, but without any wow factor, they’re going to be understandably disappointed. They had expected this incredible product, and yet in reality, it’s about average – it could even be above average, but the fact they’d expected something exceptional makes it disappointing for them.
Think about it this way, how many times have you been to a Michelin starred restaurant and been slightly disappointed by the food? And yet how many times have you been to your local pub down the road and enjoyed the food?
Everyone knows that a Michelin starred restaurant serves better food than your local pub. But, it’s the expectation that you’ll receive the best food you’ve ever eaten, that means you can be disappointed with an incredible meal. And, conversely, it’s the expectation that your local pub down the road probably serves disappointing food that helps you have a pleasant experience.
Creating Consistent Messaging That Exceeds Expectation
Importantly, it’s not just about what you say that affects a customer’s expectations. It’s everything from the price you charge to the location of your store. Even the colours you use in your branding can have an affect.
So, how can you ensure that your customer’s expectations aren’t exceeding their experience.
The most important thing is customer feedback. Firstly, from customers that have seen your marketing, but not used your product, but also from customers who have used your product. If the perception from prospective customers matches the experience received by customers, then you’re on the right tracks.
The next step could be to improve your product/service so that the customer’s experience exceeds expectation. Then you can use that improved experience to increase expectations and drive more customers to try your product.
This sounds simple and straight-forward, but it requires an innate understanding of your customers alongside full control of your marketing communications and product/service quality.
Which, as anyone that’s owned a business knows only too well, is easier said than done.
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