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Each year many of us create New Year’s resolutions for our personal lives, and new plans and budgets for our businesses. We’re creating expectations about what is going to happen in the coming months. What kind of expectations have you been creating for – and about – your business? And what can you do to improve upon this now?


Twice a week I head to the gym for a 6:00 am workout. The guy behind the counter rarely manages to say “good morning” as he scans my membership card. Recently, though, there was someone else handling check-in. This guy scanned my card, glanced at the computer to see my name, looked me in the eye and then offered a hearty “Enjoy your workout, Linda!”

And, I must say, after his greeting set such a strong positive expectation, I did enjoy my workout much more than usual.

This got me thinking about the importance of creating positive expectations for our customers. A person who expects to have a positive experience will be looking for validation of this expectation. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.

What are some of the things you can do to create positive expectations for your clients? Here are a few ideas:

  • Website – A well-designed, well-written website implies that yours is a professional, well-run company. Benefit-oriented text sets the expectation that your product is going to solve the readers’ problems or improve their lives in some way.

  • Graphics – The colors, fonts and pictures on everything from your marketing materials to your in-store signage create an impression as well. Think carefully about the mood/image that is created, and the expectations that your potential customers are likely to form based on this.

  • Staff – As my gym example shows, even seemingly trivial customer interactions are important. Take a look at everything from how you answer the phone to your sales peoples’ body language.

  • Product Names – Product names can create expectations, too. For example, sitting in my pantry is the box of “Special K Chocolatey Delight” cereal that my son picked out. As a chocolate lover, the words “Chocolately Delight” definitely create a positive expectation for me!

What Others Are Saying

"Each time I work with Linda, I am reminded just how well she understands marketing. Linda understands the principles of marketing on a psychological level. She sees the bigger picture. She is pragmatic, insightful and incredibly fast."

Kristine Putt,
Owner and Brand Identity Designer, Paragon Moon