by Tony Fannin, CEO/Partner, BE Branded | The axiom that many people believe in and have been told by others is “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” When it comes to people, that’s true. With your business and your brand, believing in this will make life harder in the long run.
When it comes to products, services, stores, web sites, etc., your customers DO judge your brand. Most of the time, you get 3-4 seconds of consideration. To me, that’s judging a book by it’s cover. Business is made up of 3 core areas, your product/service, marketing and operations. It’s that simple, though it’s not simple to execute. Customers judge you on all three areas especially on two of the three, the product/service and marketing. These are the most visible and the parts your customers interact with 95% of the time.
There’s a strategic reason why Apple packages the iPhone and iPad the way they do. There’s a purpose in why Starbucks makes their store environment inviting. As soon as you walk into a store or hit a web site for the first time, you are already making emotional judgements. The first 3-4 seconds is when we decide to either stick around or leave.
Apple makes theater in opening your new iPhone or iPod. The core purpose is to give the item inside emotional gravity and weight. You feel like it’s something special just by the way it’s packaged. In fact, Apple has several patents on the packaging alone. Sure, you can get another phone that’s in bubble wrap and put into a generic corrugated box, but you don’t get the emotion or feel the same about other phones.
You marketing must be cared for at the same level. This is your only chance to tell your story. Do it wrong or worse, be so boring, your brand runs the risk of being seen as just another “me too” commodity. You will not get a chance to show how special you really are. The same goes for operations. It is the complete customer experience customers will make an opinion about you, whether it’s accurate or not.
The reason why the “cover” is so important is if people don’t stick around past the initial sweeping of the eyes, then it really doesn’t matter how great your stuff is, they’re gone. And so is your business.
What good is a great book if no one reads it?