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Put some time into your presentation.

April 14, 2010

The other day, I had a meeting on an upcoming dinner with the committee planning it for one of the organizations I am in charge of. A local restaurant in our area — and one with an impeccable image — provided a quote on catering the event.

Many are familiar with this renowned area restaurant — it has a wonderful menu that is frequently updated, it’s in a great location and always seems to be serving near capacity, the decor is fantastic and has really set the mood for the establishment and the service and quality is by far better than other restaurants in the DeKalb-Sycamore area.

So it was with some dismay that the estimate I saw for our event was a bit haphazardly cobbled together onto an Excel spreadsheet and e-mailed over to our event coordinator. I had hoped that the owner of this restaurant would have continued the excellent branding some prevalent in signage, menus, their web site, etc. and put a little more time into what might be some people’s first experience with this business.

What was I looking for?

Well, the estimate was e-mailed over, so a PDF file would have been nice — not everyone has Microsoft Office and there’s the danger of somehow altering the spreadsheet (yes, I know you can lock or protect it, but does the “common” consumer know how to do that?). And having it on letterhead with the right fonts, spellchecked, properly spaced and with care and attention given to it would have made for a much better presentation.

The lesson here is, take the time when presenting and promoting your company’s, store’s or business’ brand to make sure it’s consistent and of the same quality people are use to experiencing — especially if you’ve spent considerable effort in the beginning to establish it. It’s true that perception rules most people’s decisions and certainly it’s the small things that seem to get the most attention.

A smart marketer remembers that while it may be easy to take the fast way out — and even perfectly functional — a little extra effort can go a long way to continuing the image you’ve fought so long to establish — and maintain.

Sure, this may seem all trivial, but the point is, this is what I expected from this restaurant. Anything less, well, tended to even the playing field a bit. And no one wants that when you’re ahead in the game.

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