24 May 2008

My Open Letter to Harvey's

Greetings Harvey’s,

I suppose this is a complaint of sorts. The complaint isn't about the product, but rather a minor hiccup in the fulfillment of the product, more specifically, your burgers.

"Every burger is freshly grilled, and freshly garnished in front of each Guest, with exactly what and how much they want from our wide selection of toppings. It’s what makes every Harvey’s burger “a beautiful thing.”

My complaint is that I am not getting ‘a beautiful thing’ at Harvey's. I am getting a runner up, an incomplete thing… close, but no cigar.

Whenever I order a burger, I get this:

Staff member: What would you like on your burger?
Me: Everything.
Drive thru outcome: A burger with everything but hot peppers.
Dine in outcome: Another question.
Staff member: Would you like hot peppers, too?
Me: Yes, please. (my understanding of the word everything means everything… I think to myself)

So, why can't everything include hot peppers, they are a condiment that is part of your full offering? As a customer, when I ask for everything, I expect everything... but, I never get what I ask for... this is frustrating and the basis for my complaint.

This happens at every location I have visited, which leads me to believe that this is a 'trained' practice and not an anomaly, nor a personal taste choice by the food handler.

Can you please explain why ‘everything’ does not mean everything at Harvey’s?

Thank you in advance for looking into this and responding to me.

Kevin Franco

NOTE: I have posted this on my blog, because I asked this question once before on their web form and never got a response... let's see what I get this time.

PS - About 1 year ago, Harvey's redesigned their menu boards and are arguably the best designed menus in their industry. The design is fresh, light and easy to read.

An Offer They Can't Refuse

With all the messages we see on a daily basis, how are advertisers breaking through the clutter? The same way they always have... by being different, promoting their differences and through clever creative.

Now, in my nearly 20 years of advertising and marketing, I've seen some really shitty ways to put an message out there. In fact, I think for every new patent issued, there is one, maybe two thought-challenged entrepreneurs with a 'new' way to advertise on the side of it.

Everyone wants to reach the masses, and everyone wants to make a buck. The problem is that not everyone is cut out for either. These days, you can reach the masses through any medium - if you are clever and resourceful enough. The challenge is not just 'being where the buyers are' that's easy, and as I pointed out there are an endless number of shitty ways to accomplish this. The real challenge is making an offer that buyers can't refuse.

What could you offer potential customers that they could not say no to? I guess to properly answer that, you would have to answer some other questions first; Do you know your target market? Do you know why people buy your product now? Do you know why people use your competitive product? Does your product address/satisfy your customers needs? Is your product as relevant today as it once was?

So, now you've got your product defined, you've got a clear vision of what the consumer wants from a product like yours and you have a goal. Now it's time to spice it up creatively. Understanding the customers motivation in wanting or needing your product is integral in crafting a compelling message. This message is communicated through design and copy.

Being creative for the sake of being creative serves no purpose in advertising. If you want that type of creative, you are looking for art, some confuse the two. In advertising, being creative is about understanding the client and their customers and how we can motivate the latter to buy stuff from the former. This is more than mere design, it's about understanding how best to break through the clutter with a message that that the customer can't refuse.

This is done through good design and good copy writing, neither of which can happen effectively without really understanding the customer.

01 May 2008

Starting Up - PART I

If you are starting a new company, re-branding or launching a new product, you could really do worse than to hire a marketing or advertising agency help you with your name selection. Heck, there are even people that do that for a living... and there are reasons why.

I haven't posted for a while. Sorry, I've been under the weather. There will be more to come...