VIBE /vīb/ (n.): a person’s emotional state or the atmosphere of a place as communicated to and felt by others.
That’s the dictionary definition.
The Fig definition of a vibe is the energy your brand is putting out that contributes to the overall consumer experience.
Think of the last time you heard “it gave me a bad vibe”. We’re willing to bet you knew exactly what the person meant, and maybe more importantly, how they FELT. As humans, we understand the vibe, but how many businesses consider their brand’s “vibe” when it comes to their customer’s perceptions?
Are your greeters aware of new customers upon arrival? Do they smile? Or even engage? Is the music too loud? How’s the lighting? These things create the feeling consumers experience when they patronize a business. They create the vibe.
Our President TaChelle Lawson illustrates this idea with a recent encounter:
"I recently met with an old friend who is now the Operations Director for a high-level restaurant group. His question: Why was one of his restaurants dead, while its sister had a nightly waitlist?
I bet you can guess what the answer was, but let’s recap the site visit for kicks:
Upon entering the restaurant, it was cold (and I’m not referring to the temperature, people). There was literally no vibe! No greetings, the room was too dark to see the menu, let alone read it, and the music didn’t match the ambiance. Ok, first impression - strike 1.
After being seated, there was no guidance through the menu and no mention of any signature dishes or specials. Essentially, they missed an opportunity to create any sort memorable experience…they didn’t even bother! Why anyone would want to order anything is a mystery to only be solved by blindly choosing from an unreadable page of words…a game of foodie roulette, if you will.
From my friend’s perspective, he didn’t really seem to care what the problem actually was. He needed “butts in seats” or to put plainly, more business. And while that’s an understandable objective, the answer to solving the problem requires diving a little deeper. Trying to explain that was fun…he didn’t want to hear it. C'est la vie"
Thoughtful brands put themselves in the customers shoes and walk through their experience in detail, remembering that it’s not about the creator, but the receiver. This isn’t limited to the food industry, either.
Before you open a spa, shouldn’t you think about the customers in your spa? Absolutely! You would research popular spa and skin treatments, retail products, laws & regulations, experts, the best location, pricing. Now let’s take that a step further, what kind of experience are you creating for them? Is this a high-end wellness center, relaxation zone or an express spa?
All these questions must be asked and answered in order to create the right vibe for your client. Don’t conduct business like the above-mentioned restaurant and open the doors to your business assuming people will come. The “build it and they will come” mentality is cute, but unrealistic. Honestly, if you want our brutal opinion (which we know you do because that’s why you’re here reading) it’s a little insulting, and above that, it’s ignorant because there are too many other options.
If you leave with anything, let it be this: Be thoughtful. Do your homework and strive to create a meaningful experience, not just another store front. The reward will be greater, and the headaches will be fewer. You can thank us later.