Click here to buy Elizabeth’s second book, “What’s in It for Me? Marketing from the Customer’s Point of View.”

“We Treat You Like Family”

Lately I’ve noticed several businesses using some form of the tag line “We treat you like family.” This is a great example of Junk Food Marketing. With the idea that family is treasured, some businessperson thought it was a nice touch to say in the business’s marketing that customers are like family to that business. Always on the lookout for marketing ideas, some other businesspeople thought, Yeah, we feel that way, too, and promptly started using the a similar theme in their marketing.

That’s Junk Food Marketing: Copying another business’s marketing idea without putting it through the filter of your own marketing plan. Like 90% of businesses, these businesses do not have a marketing plan.

I know these businesses do not have a marketing plan because, if they did, management would have thought twice before using the phrase, “We treat you like family.”

Why do I say that? Think a minute. As much as you love your family, what kind of treatment do you receive from them? Do family members always show you their best side? Do family members always serve you their best meals? Do family members always wear their best attire to greet you?

I think not. We are not necessarily on our best behavior with family members. We are often not the best dressed in their presence. We don’t prepare holiday level meals every day for them. We are relaxed with family. We are at home. We are not at our best.

When I am transacting business with a company, I want the personnel to be at their best. I want them to treat me courteously. I want them to view me as a respected guest. I don’t want to be treated as family.

How do you want to be treated?

Better yet, how does your customer want to be treated?

Think about that before you offer a marketing message. Find out from your customer how he/she wants to be treated. Use that information in developing your marketing plan. Do create a marketing plan and use it. Do not practice Junk Food Marketing by copying another business’s marketing before you put it through the filter of your marketing plan.

Discover your own way to communicate how your company treats customers.

This week’s marketing trivia challenge is What did you discover when you created your marketing plan? 

E-mail me your answer.

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