Advertising is a lot like fire. It can heat up your home – or burn it to the ground. And, even though I occasionally talk with owners who might prefer to see their pizzeria burn to the ground… most are looking to heat up sales.
First of all – let’s look at three ways advertising can destroy your business.
- You only advertise the product – and not the store
Let’s say you have a BBQ chicken pizza that’s really popular. You sell a ton of them. So you figure a great way to sell even more of them is to invest your ad budget into a huge BBQ chicken pizza promotion. You create some whiz-bang ads that get every body all jazzed up on “BBQ chicken pizzas.” Now the whole town is talking about BBQ chicken pizza and business is booming. And there you are – sitting around smiling like you just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Well, don’t get too smug because…
You’ve Just Created a Huge Opportunity for Your Competition
How so? Simple. You have been advertising a “product” and not the place it comes from. Now, any competitor worth a nickel will simply start advertising BBQ chicken pizzas too. Maybe they’ll offer them at a lower price. Maybe they’ll
Notice how McDonald’s has tied their products to themselves? Big Mac? “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”
You can get a hamburger anywhere, but you can only get a Big Mac at McDonald’s. You can only get a Whopper at Burger King.
Burger King – the “Flame Broiled Whopper.”
You have been advertising BBQ chicken pizzas.
Tie your product to your pizzeria. That way – when you advertise your specialty pizza – you’re not
- Costs more than it brings in
The purpose of business is to make more money than you spend – right? So, I always shudder when someone tells me that even though a particular ad is losing money – it’s “keeping the name out there.” You better have a fat bank account if you want to just keep your name out there.
- Attract the wrong crowd – with constant discounting
This is without a doubt the biggest blunder any pizzeria owner can make because it will forever re-position you as a low-end operation. When you compete solely on price – you attract (drum roll please)… “Price-shoppers.” And price-shoppers by their very nature are always looking for the lowest price.
A study found that only about a third of all people considered themselves price shoppers. That is – always buying based primarily on low price. Two thirds say they’ll buy what they want as long as the price is fair or they can see the reason for a higher price.
Funny, most people are not price shoppers – yet, most pizza advertising is focused solely on price. Weird, but understandable.
Listen, if you want to beat your competitors like a bongo drum – then you’re going to have to become very skilled at marketing.