AMJ’s Danielle Oaks on the importance of first – and last – impressions.
“Choose us. We know what to do. We’ll make this easy. “
This pretty much distils what I want to say to each customer who is contemplating a move with AMJ.
Over the years, as a salesperson and active FIDI Academy trainer, I have long pondered the many ways we must differentiate ourselves in our crowded and competitive moving marketplace.
What makes our company unique? Why should a client choose us? How are we a better fit for them?
It’s usually not our cartons or packing lists! And it shouldn’t be our price. Sometimes it’s about the first impression we make. And in the case of our most valuable repeat customers, it’s actually the last impression we make.
Impressions count – and luckily, these are manageable. Impressions build the feeling that accompanies the decisions our customers make. So if every prospective client knew what it would feel like to use us in advance of their decision, wouldn’t more decisions be made in our favour? In putting together our new video commercial, we attempted to do just this: capture the feeling of moving internationally and just what it feels like to work with AMJ.
Writing a brochure is one thing but generating a real emotional reaction is near impossible. Adding audio and video to the mix, however, provides a fantastic opportunity to answer that all-important question, “Why choose us?”.
So we began with the idea of that last impression, and this became our creative starting point. Then the real work began.
First off, we developed a script, then storyboard (actually, many storyboards). Sure we wanted to show the moving process – intake call, pre-move survey, move day, shipping, delivery – but cartons and containers don’t make for scintillating footage!
And while it didn’t matter where our “client” was moving from or to, we were stumped at how best to show that we actually move goods from one part of the world to another. It took a Nike and Natural Geographic commercial to spark the ideas we eventually acted on: We celebrated the client’s initial and life-defining moment when she realises “I’m moving!” and then zeroed in on the outcome: what it’s like to work with AMJ?.
On the day of the shoot, 10 professionals arrived – the videographer, lighting specialist, audio-visual pro, stagers, set managers, our packing crew and “the talent” (actors).
As on a Hollywood set, there was ample food and a creative buzz. Everyone had a well-choreographed role. The AMJ team, aka “the Client”, stayed out of the way and marvelled at the attention to detail (Videographer: “I think there is too much going on visually with the folds of the blanket.” – Jeepers, that was at 9am).
But bit by bit, the story unfolded. It was a fun day for our crew who ripped tape 25 times to get the perfect take. The extras were on set for nine hours for just three seconds of airtime, which were finally shot at 4:30 pm. Our “transferee” was our President’s Executive Assistant – and she was superb.
For a day, we got to be in the movie business. I noticed several comparisons with a move, where advance preparation is also paramount. On-site nimbleness is required – if our container doesn’t show up one time, we pivot – same with the ad storyline. If something didn’t translate well to film, quick changes had to be made. And, when “the Client” (aka me) had a brilliant mid-day idea, it reminded me of our customers want to “add one more thing”; it was refreshing to be shot down because of time and financial consequences.
My favourite part of the 1:22 minute video is how we showed the shipment travelling across the globe. “Choose us. We know what to do. We’ll make this easy.” We are happy, at long last, to have finally found a way to convey these sentiments visually.
Check it out and let me know what you think at email@example.com.