See I was away last week, and decided to take my son to an indoor soft play area – which he loves. As usual we go running and clambering up through all the obstacles to reach the slide at the top.
Alby wants to go down the slide. “OK Alby, off you go then”
“No, no scary, I don’t want to go”
“OK, do you want me to go down with you?”
“Yeah, daddy go down with me”
So I climb onto the edge, Alby onto my knee, and down we go.
Apparently it sounded like a lead pipe had been thrown down, banging its way down the spiral slide.
I managed to keep Alby upright, but came out with friction burns all down my arm.
Not the best way to start a soft play area visit.
Turns out there was actually a notice, a message, up at the top, behind the slide.
“It is recommended users of this slide wear long sleeved garments”
Users? Recommended? Garments? – what kind of tone of voice is that for kids?
That sign was positioned opposite the slide entrance. So when you’re sat about to go down, it’s behind you. Basically invisible.
That message should have been the first thing you see – given the slide is apparently dangerous enough to warrant it.
Because here’s the thing about Message First – it’s not just about getting your message right before anything else, it’s about putting that message first, always – front and centre, the first thing you see, the first thing you understand.
For businesses, Message First is about priming your audience, so they can instantly identify, appreciate and understand you. So they know what to expect and can have a better experience.
Had this soft play centre put their message first – at the entrance – we would have had a fun experience – the key message for any kids play centre. Instead there were bumps, scrapes and tears. And my 2 year old son got a bit upset too.
So when you’re next promoting your business or products, think about the death traps that are kids slides and make sure your key message – the most important part of your marketing – is the first thing your prospects see.