In Part 1 of this article series we differentiated Enchantment Marketing from what many luxury real estate marketing professionals claim as “exceeding expectations”. Consumers have come to expect less and less professionalism from service providers. We advised you not to fall in the trap of thinking that delivering excellent service and exceeding these lower expectations is the same as enchantment marketing.
In today’s time starved world competition for attention is fierce. Achieving market leadership is all about attaining and sustaining top-of-mind status. First, you need to capture the attention of your target market. Then you need to hold their attention over time. That is what enchantment marketing is all about. To enchant means to charm, captivate fascinate, enthrall and delight.
The biggest challenge of enchantment marketing is being consistent. You may be able to cast your “spell” of enchantment with a single action. But, if you are not consistent, the spell will be broken and your clients may become disenchanted with you.
Nowhere is the challenge of consistent enchantment put to the test more rigorously than in the restaurant business in a major city. Here is a tale of two outstanding Italian restaurants in Los Angeles that have been around for decades which is a major feat in a town that can be extremely fickle. Both of them consistently serve excellent food. Both consistently provide excellent service. Each of them is owned by a master of enchantment. But, for us, the spell of enchantment was broken by one of them.
Over the years, Restaurant #1 gained the reputation of being one of the best gourmet Italian restaurants in the world. We were taken there by out-of-town guests in the year it opened. It is expensive, but worth it because of the enchantment of the owner. Whenever we wanted to celebrate a special occasion or entertain clients this was the restaurant that came to mind first. We became friendly with the owner and introduced him to our friend who became his pastry chef. We never looked at a menu; the owner always ordered for us. He would select our wine and serve it himself (after his usual explanation of the wine’s origin and its characteristics) .
Restaurant #2 is the quintessential trattoria. One of the largest restaurant companies in Japan studied his operation for years before selecting the owner as their partner to open Italian restaurants in Japan. Being less expensive and less formal Restaurant #2 became an extension of our home when we were too exhausted to cook for ourselves. We were immediately enchanted by the owner on our first visit while we were waiting for our table. He brought us a glass of fine Italian wine and a slice of pizza “on the house”, because the place was literally swarming with people who arrived without reservations and the wait was longer than expected.
We also became friends with the owner of Restaurant #2. In fact, as commercial real estate brokers, we represented him in three restaurant transactions in Los Angeles. We went to his wedding; we skied with the chef and have remained friends throughout the years. Each visit to Restaurant #2 is still special. There is always something unexpected brought to the table—a special glass of wine to try, a new recipe. And, we always leave with a huge hug.
It was Restaurant #1 with which we became disenchanted during a recent birthday celebration. We have not lived in LA for over 10 years now and it was 5 years since our last visit. Prior to our arrival we were warned that Restaurant #1 was no longer up to par but we ignored it.
On this visit to Restaurant #1, the service and the food was excellent as usual. But, the “sorcerer” never came over to our table to chat, to discuss our order, to select and serve our wine. The birthday dessert, which was always on the house, was forgotten. He acknowledged us only briefly when we arrived and was absent at the door for his typical Italian farewell.
On the long drive home to Santa Barbara, where we now live, we questioned the value of the dining experience at Restaurant #1 for the first time ever. The spell had been broken. Our willingness to pay the higher prices for the enchanting experience evaporated. There is no question that if we were to call him and tell him about our disappointment, we would be invited back for an extravagant meal at no charge. Perhaps if the restaurant was in our new home town we would do it. But, we are rarely in LA for dinner unless we are staying overnight before a flight from LAX.
Since the disenchantment with Restaurant #1 we have been to Restaurant #2 twice and we continue to feel like #2 is an extension of our home. Consistency is the biggest challenge of enchantment marketing. As a luxury real estate marketing professional, are you up to the challenge?
This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.