Saturday, February 27, 2010

With Great Product Comes Great Response Ability

Corny title aside, it's true. People love to talk about brands that they love using. They will do it all day, with or without coercion or even having to be asked about the product. Marketers constantly battle about which of the immortal 4 P's is most important, but it always comes back to product. You have to sell something, and people have to buy it. In his recent video, Loren Feldman stresses this same point, although he does it with more "Grrrr" than I'm able to muster at this moment. He's a bit eccentric and social media will NOT kill a brand but basically his point rings true, that people will always respond to a great product.

Example: I'm a broke college student living in a small Ohio town of about 6,000 residents, when school is in session. That number drops to about 2,300 when school's out. It's the first day of break, I'm still here, I've got $10 to my name and I'm hungry. Now there's a Taco Bell right across the street from the school. Should be a two minute walk, no fuss, I'm fed, I keep $7 and I go about my day. Now what actually happens is, I'm 30 seconds from walking into the door of Taco Bell, when I remember Viva Maria's. This place has the BEST food in Ada, hands down. People who think Padrone's has better pizza or anything else, don't own palettes. Tremendous food. But it's a ten minute walk through slush and sidewalks that haven't been shoveled, plus it's more expensive. I flip a coin, heads = Viva, tails = T-bell. It lands on tails. I'm disappointed, and I know by my disappointment that I won't be going to Taco Bell, no matter what the stupid coin said. I make the trek to Viva Maria's and enjoy a brilliant Domenic's New Yorker sub. Each bite with the fresh tomato, Italian herbs and cappricola is like a burst of the heart of Italy right in my mouth (twss). This food is straight out of Little Italy in NY, Cleveland, or the real Italy in Europe. The people at Viva's may speak english, but their food certainly does not. Now my meal cost $7.97, and I left a dollar on the table for a tip (who says black people don't tip?! lol). That left me walking home another ten minutes, again through sludge and snow, with only $1.03 in my wallet. But man was I happy! My mouth was spazzing out over the sensory experience of my meal. My brain was writing this post. That's not because I talked with a Viva's rep over Twitter, but it is because I had an excellent customer experience and enjoyed a great product.

Social media simply gives customers and customer servers an outlet to boost their communicative abilities. People are going to talk about your company anyway, social media just lets you more clearly hear what they're saying, and hopefully you take what you hear and make your product better.

Man that was a good sub!

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