iMac boxI’m happily staring at my shiny new iMac. The process of buying and setting it up was a dream. It was delivered in a structured box printed with a beautiful image of the computer that was inside. On opening the box, you find the keyboard and mouse packed neatly in another clean, white package, and a folded white card containing simple instructions which start with a friendly ‘hello’. You simply plug in the machine, wake it up and it works.

instructionsThe whole experience was a pleasure.

I also bought a new printer. For a start, it wasn’t the colour it looked in the photos. The instruction manual comprises 44 pages of what looks like grey toilet paper with text that could have been translated into English via German and Japanese. It’s virtually incomprehensible. For example, it tells you to load paper into drawer 1 but none of the diagrams nor explanations show which drawer is number 1.

When loading paper and ink, all the parts feel plasticky and fragile. What’s more, the ink cartridges have a complicated plastic lock that you have to turn and detach before you insert them into the machine. Frustratingly, it took three goes before the machine accepted the black ink cartridge. Finally, all those lumps of plastic are waste which will end up in landfill.

What’s worse is that the printer doesn’t do what it says it should. It claims to be able to print wirelessly. That turned out to be true for the first couple of pages, but after that the display would say it was receiving data, do nothing for an hour, and then spit out a blank page. It claims to be unable to print from a USB hub. But now that I have set it up that way, it’s behaving perfectly. Trouble is, it took me ages to work that out.

The whole experience was more like a nightmare.

Why am I telling you this?

Because marketing is all about the customer experience. It’s not just your glossy upfront advertising and promotion. It’s about the packaging. It’s about the instructions. And it’s about the entire look, feel, and tone of voice of all your communications.

I can help with that.

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