AS I WAS DRIVING DOWN THE STREET YESTERDAY, I saw a business proudly displaying a sign out front:

“We care about our customers and what’s best for them”

This kind of thing just drives me crazy. Seriously, somebody thought this would be an effective marketing strategy?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure that it’s totally true. They do care about their customers. They do want those customers to see a benefit from their service.

So what’s wrong?

The problem is that I could literally put this slogan in front of any business, and it would have the same effect: none at all.

It’s not that consumers are cynical about what businesses say in their marketing. We’ve all become immune to marketing hype.

It’s not that it’s not credible. It could very well be true.

The issue is that the companies which really focus on customers actually do the hard work; they don’t put it on a sign. It’s like if I wear a button on my shirt that says, “I’m honest!” It will make everyone wonder why I would work so hard to declare that I’m honest, rather than actually being honest.

Maybe I need a button: “I’m humble!!!!” – with the four exclamation points.

As I continued driving, it occurred to me that the quote marks were also part of their sign. Which reinforces that it’s what they’re saying, perhaps at the expense of actually living up to the promise.

Today’s lesson? Go out there and be unique, amazing, gracious, and kind. Let your actions, and your customers, do the talking.