This post is all about the role that reliability plays in marketing.
Close to where I live, there’s a sign on the road outside a cafe that says open. Now, even though this place is only open during certain hours each day, the open sign is always there.
In effect, the sign is useless or maybe even less than useless for the owners of that cafe.
Because people will see the sign, pull over and try to go in, during times or days when the place is closed. If you really want to hack-off a potential customer, get him or her to get out of their car in the rain and run over to your cafe, so they can learn that you’re actually closed, but you’re too lazy to change the open sign. So, by not changing this sign, the cafe will be wasting a lot of potential customer’s time – people who will never again trust that the place is actually open, just because the sign says so. It’s easier for them to go to a reliable place, that’s open when it says it is.
Marketing and reliability
I saw something similar last year, with a restaurant that kept changing it’s opening hours. One week it would be open Monday – Friday another week it would only be open 4 days a week and another week, it would only be open on weekends. Guess what? It pretty quickly went broke. Potential diners never knew if it would be open or not, so if they were out and wanted a meal, they wouldn’t risk going all the way there, to find it closed.
In business, there is a need for reliability. People need to know that if we, as service providers, will be there when we say we will. We need to ensure that we turn up regularly. We need to earn the trust of our marketplace, so they know they can rely on us. This is part of the reason, why I sent out scheduled blog posts last week, even though I was on a week long holiday. People come here expecting to see something new, so I made sure they were not disappointed.