Tony And The Lobsters
I was driving on a commercial road earlier today and noticed a large banner hanging on the side of a building, big picture of a lobster and the words "Wednesday Is Lobster Night!" in large block letters. As I went by the place I glanced up at the sign above the door and was more or less shocked to see the words "Tony's Pizza" hanging there.
I'm not trying to get all Seth Godin here or anything, but if you are a business looking to attract customers with something extra, something special, wouldn't it be a good idea for whatever you are offering - and making a concerted effort to publicize - to at least be in the same general vicinity of the baseline value proposition that would originally lead someone in the door?
If a pizza place wants to go out of its way to tell me it features a coal-fired oven, some unique kind of dough, sea salt from Sicily, imported mozzarella and sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes - or anything else that takes my basic expectations to a new and exciting place - terrific.
But lobster night? At Tony's Pizza?
Surprisingly enough, an adult video store just a short distance down the road seemed to get the concept that had utterly escaped Tony, by adding the words "Pure Pleasure" to the sign that also carried its fairly generic name. No idea whether or not the place delivered on that promise, but at least the message was consistent with the overarching theme of the operation.
A pizza place being out-marketed by a porno shop... I'm just guessing Tony has bigger problems than whatever he's paying for the lobsters. Not to mention the bibs.