This is Luna, my part-German-pointer pup, back in March, at 12 weeks old.
She is quite a bit bigger now, still kind of goofy-looking and becoming much more knowledgeable about things.
Things? Well, after where the best cow pats are in the neighbour’s paddock (for, unfortunately, rolling on top of and snacking on), then also, how effective each of my commands are and which ones are easiest to ignore.
Luna likes my brand. It is a brand that says to her: affection, well-being, security and good food. But some of my carefully thought out marketing catch-phrases (well, ok, dog commands) don’t always get the correct response.
I put that down to her growing worldliness and making more of her own choices, but dog people who know say it’s more because I am not consistent enough in my messaging.
So, if I say ‘sit down’ and ‘get down’ and just plain old ‘down’, I’m meaning three basic-enough, but separate things, but all Luna hears is a heap of downs and so struggles to understand what she needs to do.
And with winter roaring up on us, I sometimes take pity on her on cold days, when that hard-to-resist furry face peers pitifully through the glass in the back door, and let her inside; but on other days I make her stay outside all day. Letting her in makes me feel better, but the chopping and changing of in or out is not giving strong signals to my furry customer as to what to expect from me.
Anyway, consistency and clarity, that’s pretty much all this shaggy dog story is tangentially about: the importance of those qualities in your communications to help your customers understand who you are, what you offer and how you can help them.
Like Luna, the people reading your company’s communications are hoping for a simple message, clearly stated, that creates an honest impression that makes them receptive to you and what you offer.
Unlike Luna, if your messaging is confused, inconsistent or untrue, your customers won’t loyally sit for long outside the door wondering what to do next, they’ll more likely wander off and find a more supportive supplier.
Consistency and clarity are approaches I’m always working on for my clients or encouraging them to take up themselves, but it’s taken a high-energy pup to help crystalise my thoughts on that approach and put them in words.
Good girl, Luna, good girl.