Yesterday, while enjoying a cup of coffee, I noticed the words on the coffee mug I was using. The mug was from a bank that had opened recently and it had these words on it:
I suppose someone thought these were good traits for a bank to promote. Who wouldn’t want a bank that operates with integrity, trust, honesty and professionalism?
On the other hand, why would you expect a bank to NOT operate according to these values? Isn’t it safe to assume that your bank would be honest and trustworthy?
Or, has our world gotten so offtrack with our ethical standards that we need reassurance from our banks that they’ll treat us with honesty, trust, integrity and professionalism?
I don’t think so.
Sure, we can always find examples of businesses that should behave better, but don’t. But they are the exceptions, not the rule. I truly do not believe most businesses need to advertise the fact they are honest and trustworthy.
In fact, for a bank to advertise this is silly. I would ask why they feel it’s necessary to proclaim to the world how honest they are.
Imagine if other industries used this approach.
A restaurant might advertise that their food is edible.
“Come eat at the Golden Griddle. We promise you won’t get food poisoning!”
Or maybe a car manufacturer would brag that their cars actually work:
“It starts when you turn the key. It goes when you press the gas pedal. It stops when you press the brake. What more do you want in your next car?”
A health clinic might promote the fact that their doctors all have medical degrees. A shoe store might advertise that they actually have shoes you can try on right there in the store!
And on and on.
You can see how ridiculous things could get with a strategy like this.
I’m sure the person who decided the bank should promote how honest they are did so with the best of intentions. But good intentions alone don’t always make for good marketing. Be careful what message you’re sending with your marketing.
If you promote things that people already assume are a given in your business (like honesty for a bank or edible food for a restaurant) then you’ll be wasting your marketing dollars. Or, you might even drive customers away because they think you offer nothing more than what you’re promoting, which they already expect you to have.
Your marketing message should tell the world who YOU are. It should help them see how your business can help them get what they want. Your message is about what your company can do for your customers, that no other company can do as well. It should help a person understand that you offer them something unique and valuable enough that they should take time to learn more about you and how you can help them. It should get them to stop and take notice of your business so you can begin a real conversation with them.
Do this and you’ll have customers lined up at your door.
Fail to do this and you might find yourself wondering where did all the good customers go?