Author: Vitaly Grinblat (Editor, Magnetic Sponsoring Newsletter )
Although I’m not a big fan of fast food places for obvious nutritional reasons, or I should say lack of it, but they are brilliant when it comes to business.
As a matter of fact McDonald’s is still considered one of the best stocks to own, and had a stellar performance in the last few years, in spite of the economic chaos.
Now let me tell you just one of the MAIN reasons why I think America’s favorite Fast Food chain has enjoyed a 50 year successful run, very few other companies have.
There are actually a number of reasons like simplicity and efficiency in their franchise operations are certainly among the top, but from a customer perspective, above all there’s ONE very few people really understand.
And it’s the exact same thing you MUST HAVE in your business.
Now before I reveal exactly what it is, let me share a quick story with you.
Back in 1997, my wife and I (actually we just dating at the time), went on our first vacation, an Eastern Caribbean cruise.
One of the islands where we stopped was St. Maarten, a half French, half Dutch island.
Nice place, excellent beaches, I especially like the Marigot Bay on the French side.
Anyways, we get out of the boat and it was around lunch time I think, so everyone’s rushing to find a place to eat.
I vaguely remember all the details, but there were a few local cafes and restaurants around, and then there was McDonald’s.
And a good number of people made a mad rush for McD’s.
At the time, I simply looked at it as a fact that Americans just love McDonald’s so “logically” that’s the reason, or so I thought.
Well, as I’ve realized much later, “logic” has absolutely NOTHING to do with it.
As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet a good number of these people aren’t even that crazy about McDonald’s.
So why choose that over a local cafe?
Best I can tell, and I’m pretty sure it’s a correct conclusion… because of CONSISTENCY.
If you’ve ever been to McDonald’s, then you know they’re all the same.
The food is the same ALWAYS. The service (pretty much) is the same ALWAYS.
And you know exactly what to expect when you go there… they are CONSISTENT.
Now why is that so important?
You see we (the human kind) have certain things hard-wired into our psyche.
One of them is Consistency.
We love consistency, as it provides a sense of familiarity, and we simply can’t stand inconsistency, on a deep psychological level.
We are more comfortable when we know what to expect.
Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you know someone who’s mood and behavior is totally unpredictable?
One day he can be the nicest guy, and the next a raging psycho.
You don’t know what to expect, and…
… when faced with a choice, we tend to go with the familiar, with what we know, to AVOID the pain of change.
Which is why a big chunk of the crowd from that cruise ship chose McDonald’s instead of other possibly much better options.
“Yeah I know McD’s food is bad… but it’s consistently bad, and at least I know what I’m getting… where as this local cafe, who knows…”
This is HUGE in marketing.
Your customers want to see consistency, it’s deeply rooted into their subconscious.
If you can show a pattern of consistent results, actions, valuable advice, etc… they tend to trust you a heck of a lot MORE than without it.
But if you’re saying one thing one day… and then promoting or saying something completely different another day, and there’s no consistency in your message…
… that’s a big NO NO and the automatic knee-jerk response of your potential customer is… this person is inconsistent and I can’t trust them.
Plain and simple.
BTW, consistency is just ONE of the 6 major principles of Influence you can use in your marketing, as described by Dr. Cialdini’s work in his incredible book – “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”.