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Keep It Simple, Silly (K.I.S.S.)

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This Is Not A Black Car

This Is Not A Black Car

Henry Ford has been credited with the statement; “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”.  That was the policy for early Ford vehicles.   Mr. Ford probably did not imagine that a car would be outfitted with so many optional features today and probably would have resisted the temptation of customization.  He emphasized the use of standard, interchangeable parts and the moving assembly line for efficiency.   At one point he had that luxury as Ford Motor Company had over half of the US Auto Market share.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s the Japanese auto makers were known for making good, reliable cars at an affordable price that were very fuel-efficient.   They were not known as particularly stylish and had few options.  To an extent they learned from Henry Ford and it worked even against competition that had much more variety.   In hindsight, it is no surprise that during this time they gained a large share of the US auto market.

So, what can we learn from this?  I believe we need to focus on doing what we do best and avoid distractions.  If you are a sandwich shop; build the best sandwich ever and they will come.  Have you ever seen some of the places on the TV show Diners, Drive In and Dives?  (Yes, I watch this show a lot) Many of the restaurants are indeed dives.  I am sure you have your own favorite eatery that is a hole in the wall place that does everything wrong except deliver sweet, nectar to your tummy.  They don’t have a good website, a good social marketing campaign or any outward appearance that they know what they are doing.  Behind the counter the kitchen staff looks like the 3 stooges.  Sometimes they are actually known for having poor customer service at the order counter.  Remember the Seinfeld episode about the restaurant known for its soup?  If you did not order correctly, the owner would yell at you “No soup for you! I don’t ever recommend sacrificing customer service but if you sell a product that everyone wants then even that can be substandard.

It is contrary to much of what you hear today, but maybe following the K.I.S.S. rule still makes sense. If we devote several hours or more a month to our Business Facebook page, website, writing a blog or learning the new buzz words to impress people what have we gained?  If we spend a couple thousand dollars a year on a fancy new logo, SEO and email marketing campaigns will it be worth the cost?  If you took the money and time spent in a year on the distractions of this year’s “shiny new toy” and invested it in making your core product or service better maybe people would be lining up at your door to do business with you.

I don’t think that would be a good idea to stop all of your marketing programs but I think it would be a good idea to focus on first things first.  That means make your product or service the best it can be before wrapping a shiny package on something that is less than your best.

Have a great week getting back to basics.  Read a blog from 2011 that I wrote called Back To The Basics for more on this topic.


Written by pacelinebiz

April 7, 2014 at 8:01 am

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