Sometimes when you run a service based business, it seems anti-instinctual to think of yourself as a product or brand, but for a brief moment today while you read this, I invite you to do so. This whole idea came up a year or so ago when Mayra and I were debating who to take our client to for catering and we leaned towards the caterer that we end up working with probably 8 out of 10 times. There were a lot variables to the event in this particular instance and Mayra said “Well, the thing about Company X is.. it’s always such a consistent product.”
That didn’t mean that they churned the same food over and over again or weren’t creative with their presentation and methods of service- indeed, the opposite- it just meant that no matter the variables the final product (inventive food, creativity, flawless service). The process to getting to the final product (the delivery method) was also fairly consistent: how we set up a tasting, what happened prior during and afterwards, the process of handling the rentals. And in that sense, the key word- consistency- is what this service related business has in common with a product.
Just like when I go on Net-a-Porter, regardless of what I may buy, I know it will be a fashionable, quality product and will arrive quickly with no hassle. Or, dare I say it, at a Chipotle, where I know I will wait on line, but the ingredients will be fresh, the taste good and it was a better choice than, say, street cart shawarma.
Sometimes when we do creative things or produce unique designs or deal with personalities and situations that vary drastically from client to client to client, it’s easy to say “But every project is SO different, not everyone’s experiences with us are going to be the same.” I know that that’s true because we’ve said that about ourselves in the past only to realize that in those moments, we weren’t clear on what our product really WAS and, we almost always could look back and see some issues with our delivery method.
So, what are you consistent about? What’s the take-away that every client walks away with? What’s the take away about your delivery method to getting there? Are you “Stunning, Original Stationery but difficult to deal with” or “Gorgeous, Locally Grown Flowers with a Side of Crazy” or “Amazing Lighting with a Can-Do Attitude”.
And, in totally non-wedding news, I leave you with my favorite Wednesday video to watch… a Zebra and a Pony running on Staten Island. This is a few months old in terms of time, but timeless in terms of magical content. Watch with volume and you can hear their clickety-clack of their little hooves.