Jumping The Marketing Shark

I was driving to a client yesterday when I saw a billboard for Asian Pearl restaurant.  What caught my eye was this “asian” restaurant was promoting its Chinese, Japanese, American and Mexican buffets.

I think we have finally jumped the shark by trying to be everything to everyone.

Think about Asian Pearl.  If I want Mexican food, would I really go to a place that also serves Chinese?  And what are the chances that I am going to want a burrito, dim sum, sushi and a burger at the same sitting?

I come across companies doing the same thing all of the time.  Companies want to tell the world all of the things that make them great because they fear alienating anyone and missing out on a potential sale – especially in today’s economy.  Unfortunately, in communicating everything to everyone, you often speak to no one.

For example, Company A and Company B both sell pest control.

Company A talks about its customer service, efficacy, training, experience, number of locations, various services, and courteous technicians.

Company B gets rid of your bugs, guaranteed.

If you have a pest control problem, which message are you most likely to remember?

Now ask yourself, is your messaging as concise as Company B?

  • Look at your current communications, what is the key point you are trying to make?  If you are unsure, you can’t ask your audience to be able to discern it.
  • Is your message targeted to  a specific audience or does it answer a specific need?
  • Does your message provide differentiation from your competitors?
  • Do you have a message that is unique, even if for a smaller, targeted audience?

Sometimes this last point is the most important.  Will your business be more successful getting a small percentage of a large audience, or a large percentage of a small audience? (We will discuss this further in future postings).

That said, maybe I am looking at the Asian Pearl billboard the wrong way.  They could be targeting the small percentage of the population who can never decide what they want to eat and thus want a choice – unless they want Italian.

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2 Comments

Filed under Messaging

2 responses to “Jumping The Marketing Shark

  1. Theresa

    Yes, But it all depends on your demographic. If this multi cultural restaurant was set in a posh neighborhood with clients whom only expect the “best” chinese gourmet, or “best” mexican food around when in the mood, then no this place would probably not succeed. But. I am going to take a wild guess and say that this restaurant was not in the best part of town? If so, those of lower income don’t always expect to eat the best of what’s around, and may even appreciate the variety and convenience of this one stop shop….

  2. Drew Maenza

    Nice article Andy & dead on.

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