Lessons I Learned From an Automatic Hand Dryer

We’ve all had that moment when we’ve encountered an uncooperative automatic dispenser of water/soap/paper towels/hot air. The very things designed to make our lives easier, healthier and more convenient have left us all flailing our arms about like inept wizards at one time or another. 

I recently had one of those experiences after washing my hands. I found myself conducting an invisible orchestra, hoping that my sick moves would convince the air dryer to do its job. I was failing miserably. I continued to wave my hands, looking for the sweet spot that would appease the “hands-free” air dryer (ain’t that a laugh), so I wouldn’t have to use one of my favorite dresses like a towel. 

That’s when it hit me. No, not the hot air the illustrations on the front of the dryer promised would be there if I just placed my hands in front of it like a rational, sane person. It was the revelation that at that very moment, I was like so many business owners. I was doing everything I was supposed to do. Everything that I had been told would bring success - with no results (other than my increased frustration and the enduring moistness of my hands).

Unresponsive customers are a lot like that damned hand dryer. When they don’t respond to our efforts, it can be frustrating and really tempting to blame them for our difficulties. However, if we’re honest, it’s probably one of the following (or a combination of all three) that are messing with our results:

1) The targeting is way off.

2) The branding and marketing is sending the wrong message to the wrong people (see reason #1). We’re simply not talking to the right people, at the right time, or in the right way.

Here’s an example. We had a realtor client that was creating his own landing pages before coming to us. He wanted to target senior citizens interested in downsizing to senior housing during the winter. He decided to use an image of someone snowplowing with the headline: “Are You Sick of Housing Maintenance?” In his mind, he was pointing out the benefits of senior living in a community where yard work and plowing is taken care of for you. Potential clients thought he was a landscaper offering maintenance services and felt misled once they clicked on his ad. Once we got the messaging in line with his intent and in a way his audience could understand and get behind, people became responsive and picked up what he was putting down.

3) There’s a lack of clarity in the branding and marketing that’s creating a lack of clarity for customers. For example: If you say you offer a high-end product, but you’re still rocking the DIY website, you’re sending a mixed message and people may be wary about how “high-end” your products really are.

In short, confused customers don’t buy.

We all know that success isn’t guaranteed (neither are dry hands, apparently). Looking for your crowd in the right places and getting in front of them while presenting yourselves the right way is going to be key. Getting clarity about your positioning and messaging can be as simple as just asking the right questions. Here’s a few to consider:

If you were to get in front of your perfect customer right now would they recognize you (at a glance) as a company that just “gets them”? Looking at you competition, is your company the one they’d want to work with? Would they understand your message and would you get a response? That last one can also be answered by simply asking, have they been responding and what questions have they been asking? Lastly, how can you be sure you won’t stand there, waving your arms like an idiot, trying new technique after new technique to elicit some sort of reaction?

We see these issues all the time with new clients. In fact, that’s why we started offering consultation services in the first place. We want to help business owners get their branding on point, and start attracting the right customers. If you think it may be time revamp your brand and really create a strategy for it, we can help you with that! If you just want someone to look at everything you’ve got during a “deep dive” session and tell you why the damned thing won’t turn on!!?? We can do that too.  

Give us a call at 612-481-32545, or pick a time for a brief discovery call from the times below.