I would like to share some stories from the “real world” and let you know who is doing things right in the areas of marketing. I have a couple of local examples, and then one very big national example that anyone in business can learn something from. A big key to each of these is not only doing something right, but just doing something!The Sip -The Sip is a small deli type store that offers “bubble drinks.” What are bubble drinks? Well, if you don’t know, google it, because I am sure that I couldn’t explain it correctly.Walking by The Sip, on at least a weekly basis, I had always wondered what a bubble drink was. I had never stopped in because I was unwilling to risk $3 of my own cash trying one, when I could go to Starbucks down the street and buy something I knew I liked.Well, when walking by on a Monday afternoon, I saw a nice young lady outside of The Sip passing out FREE samples of bubble drinks. Try one? Of course I would, and what I found out is: bubble drinks are absolutely delicious; and the banana creme frappucino at Starbucks fell far short in taste comparison.What is the lesson? A free sample, and a little bit of customer education has turned me on to bubble drinks. As a person, I was very leery, and uneducated on the taste of them until I was offered a sample for FREE. Best part, no commitment for me, and a new weekly customer for The Sip. (They probably gained a few new customers that day.)Woodhams Eye Clinic – “Atlanta’s Only 20/20 or FREE Lasik Guarantee”Pretty strong stuff in that above statement, especially for a huge city like Atlanta, but let’s look closer at what they have done – Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Atlanta’s ONLY – talk about a strong differentiation statement. They not only have a guarantee, but they told me that no other Lasik clinic does in this city. Makes the consumer decision easy.Guarantee: Risk free to me. I see better, or I don’t pay. That simple. No risk for me at all.Billboard: 7 total words, a telephone number, and a website. They’ve said everything they need to in SEVEN total words. That’s the power of a USP; it sums everything up quickly and easily.Website: Focused on selling; Testimonials, FREE evaluation, and some patient education. All of the contents focused on getting the patient.JEEP 30 Day Return – Jeep has taken the risk out of purchasing a vehicle by offering a 30-day return on any Jeep vehicle purchased.Now, I’m sure the other companies have followed suit since this began, but when this was first introduced, they are all screaming “Are You Crazy?!?!” They envisioned thousands of returns, and people buying cars, driving them for 29 days, and returning them. (Jeep profited from being different and the first to offer this.)Chances are, there were, and will be, some returns, but Jeep also realizes it has a superior product and they are not scared to show it. They will gain a ton of customers that feel relieved they get to drive a vehicle for 30 days before they have to make a true commitment. After 30 days, the buyers will have already seen the comfort and superiority of a Jeep vehicle.I know some of you read the small print as well, and all the fees that are associated with the return. That won’t scare anyone away from buying a Jeep, or from returning it. People know there are fees associated with a vehicle, and it still will dramatically lower the risk from being stuck with a $30,000 vehicle for a few years, or paying $400 to get out of a contract.Learn from all three of these examples, and notice one thing: they all reduce the risk of the new consumer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing, a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education. Visit http://www.EMCdental.com to receive a free practice building kit sent directly to you.