Sometimes, in all our efforts to "cover the bases" in a marketing effort, we miss the truly obvious. take this post from WonderBranding, for instance:
"I've done everything possible to create good relationships with my female clients," a doctor announced to me during a recent seminar, with just a hint of smugness. "I've decorated my office with soothing colors and have a fountain in the waiting room to ease any nervousness. There are a variety of magazines on the coffee table that appeal to different personalities... I even have a cappucino corner where patients can make themselves a beverage. I've covered all the bases - there's nothing left."
I let his statement hang like Air Jordan for a few ticks of the clock, then asked him,
"How long do your patients have to wait in the waiting room before they're escorted in to see you?"
It was like hitting him with a two-by-four. One of the most important aspects of the patient experience, yet he was so far inside the bottle he couldn't see it. How much simpler it would have been to focus on the biggest complaint that most patients have these days - interminable waits without explanation - instead of interior decorating or refreshments.
This is a common problem - we think we've covered the bases, but - in fact - we've typically missed something important. The problem we create for ourselves is that we assume that we know what people want - but we don't bother to ask what people want. This is something that Doc Searls co-wrote an entire book about - The Cluetrain Manifesto. It's also something that Dale Wolf has been on about in his marketing blog.
The WonderBranding post covers a bunch of territory on addressing this - I'll summarize briefly: The key is to figure out what people don't like about your product/service and deal with that. This might be something specific to your product, or it might be something endemic to your industry - either way, you need to find a way to address that concern. The flip side of that is to figure out what it is that your loyal customers keep coming back for - figure that out and build on it.