Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Too Many Signs

Too many signs sends a sign to your customers. Allow me to explain.

I have a favorite convenience store along Interstate 79, where I stop almost every time I'm in the vicinity. For more than 15 years, this store has been my "pit stop" on the long, arduous driving trip between Charleston and Morgantown. The store's cleanliness and its friendly staff and owners are the reasons why it has long been a favorite of mine. Once, upon arrival, I discovered that I had left my wallet behind, so I had no way to pay for the gas I had just pumped. They allowed me to pay on my next trip, without any pressure or hassles. Suffice it by saying that I have had a longstanding, deep and rewarding relationship as a customer of this store.

Over the years, the owners or managers began posting signs. The first sign that I can recall appeared in the store's ultra-clean restrooms.
"Your purchases are the reason that we are able to offer clean restrooms."
Fine, I thought. Remind folks to buy something while they're here. Don't just come in to use the toilets. No big deal.

In the last couple of years, the store has become a jungle of signs.
"Do not overfill your cup under the capuccino machine."
"Don't leave your coffee wrappers and trash on the countertop. Trash receptacle is to your right."
"Pay for your gas before shopping."
"Do not park your car in a way that blocks the gas pumps."
"Smile--You are on closed-circuit video surveillance."
"Do not take any food or drink into the crafts shop."
"Do not park in the yellow striped areas outside the store."
"Do not leave your car running while you are shopping."
"No merchandise beyond this point."
On my last visit there about a week ago, I felt insulted by all of these signs. Yuck. Jeesh! Give me a break, please. You don't trust me. You think I am a slob. You think that I am ungrateful.

Guess what signs are not posted ... The two most important signs of all--
"Welcome. We are so glad you are here."
"Thank you. We appreciate your business."
Guess what else will be missing from this store from now on?


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