We’ve all heard the phrase KISS – keep it simple, stupid. We’ve also been exposed to Occam’s Razor – the simpler explanation is most likely the better one. But still, as business owners, we forget that and build our own man-made obstacles to make our lives harder.
For example, I went to a restaurant in Phoenix call The Arrogant Butcher. By the name you would guess they were likely a steak house or possibly a BBQ joint. That was my expectation as I entered. Sure enough, the menu had a couple steaks and some ribs, but was dominated by seafood dishes. I asked my waitress what they were known for. She said the seafood. Their oysters were flown in fresh from California daily.
I was already mentally halfway out the door, but decided to stick it out and give it a try.
Much to my delight, the seafood was delicious. The staff was friendly. The dessert was awesome.
But because of the name, if anything wasn’t up to par, the night would have been a huge disappointment. Because of the name, my expectations were completely different to the experience, and almost a deal killer. Because of the name, everything had to be surprisingly delightful.
I sat at the chef’s table and watched the cooks at work. None seemed arrogant. None looked like a butcher. I didn’t see a lot of steaks or ribs, but the oyster shucker never stopped shucking.
At the end of the night, I am happy to say they overcame my original disappointment. But they had to be perfect to do so, all because of the obstacle they put up all on their own.
Retail is hard enough as it is. Don’t make it harder on yourself. KISS.
PS I understand that good, fun, unique names are catchy and stand out. I drank beer and played guitar at a pub with Poison in the name. But when your name screams a certain expectation, you have to be exceptionally excellent at what you do if your actual brand doesn’t match that expectation. Few businesses pull that off consistently.