All that glitters is not gold!

At a face to face networking event last year, I overheard a colleague comment that Mr X couldn’t be doing very well in his business given the age of his car. Harsh you might say and I would agree, but unfortunately we do business in an increasingly materialistic world where some people judge our success by the location of our offices, make and age of our car, recency of our technology and the designer labels in our clothes.

But let me ask you a question, would you trust a financial adviser on commission who drove around in the most expensive BMW and dressed in the latest designer clothes? Or would you like me wonder if you were footing the bill for his exorbitant lifestyle?

It’s a difficult thing to make sense of really, because not everyone likes to spend their money on the latest car, best clothes or most popular technology. Some of us instead prefer to stick with what we have and let our knowledge, expertise and personality speak for us instead.  And I want to illustrate this point by sharing a story with you. One of my clients drives around in a 15 year old Mercedes, dresses very scruffily and doesn’t own a smart phone. His ability to use technology is frightening but he operates a very successful multi-million pound business and is himself a millionaire. And perhaps most importantly to me, he pays on time and is a delight to do business with.

Smoke and mirrors?

My take on this really is that we shouldn’t judge by appearances but yet we still do. And in marketing terms that is dangerous.  Because let’s be honest just because things look fantastic doesn’t mean that they are. For years marketing was known as being fluffy and capable of telling a few white lies, but now it’s finally being taken seriously and that’s ver y much down to the fact that it now be effectively monitored and measured and in most cases can be proved to be instrumental in generating business and maintaining the interest of customers.

But with every success comes an amazing fail, who can forget the occasions when the hype overshadowed the reality of a product of services?  I refer here to Google Glass, New Coke, Crystal Pepsi, Apple U2 iPod and the hoverboard!

For me it’s all about providing added value, going that extra mile and not showing off shiny new items. So my hints for businesses out there who want to be taken seriously and not judged wrongly, I think that you should adopt the following three principles:

  1. Know your subject matter  inside out and back to front
  2. Make promises you can always keep
  3. Be authentic, honest, genuine and customer friendly
  4. Invest in things that customers notice, appreciate and can benefit from
  5. Make sure that your customers are your greatest advocates

For help in making sure that your business operates and delivers on its customer promises and glitters with success rather than stuff and nonsense contact Vicky at Fuel on 07766 566690 or email