Last weekend I wandered into a fantastic furniture and homewares store on a quest for inspiration for my under-construction home. Later that day, I saw the same store advertised on TV – which completely confused me. The ad portrayed this store in such a way that I would never dream of entering it, but the store itself was simply fantastic. As a customer potentially willing to spend an entire first home buyers grant on home furnishings, the ad was completely lost on me. From a marketing perspective, this is great example of why perception is everything when it comes to advertising.

If you’re in retail, your in-store environment should never be ignored from your marketing mix. This particular store I experienced had a horrible TV ad that was poorly produced, a really badly designed logo, topped off by a terrible jingle, but the in-store environment was warm, welcoming, and full of simply exquisite furniture, homewares and nick-nacks. My point is, nothing matched! The only element that was consistent was the name. The ad downgraded the store, and made it look cheap and nasty, which was completely false. It seemed like the TV ad was created before the store was even opened!

My point is, that if you are going to advertise your business in any forum, whether it be TV, press, radio or outdoor, make sure the consumer feels the same about your business at every possible exposure.

Using my poor mis-matched homewares retailer again as an example, their fabulous store, which clearly involved expert interior design, is their benchmark. Everything else created should be a match to the experience a consumer has when they enter the store. Their logo should be simple, clean and super modern. Their advertising should be classy, modern, and a bit funky. Their jingle should be scrapped in favour of a funky, ‘cafe’ style
of music.

Consider how this lesson applies to your business. Do your customers receive a consistent message? Or are they confused like I was?