Biggest Business Lesson Learned from Taking My Daughter on College Tour

I just returned from taking my daughter on college tour – a fascinating (but exhausting) experience.

And here’s the biggest lesson I learned…

Or perhaps I’ve known this all along.

Great marketing can (almost) sell even a BAD product!

The full-color college brochure we received was filled with photos of happy students, caring professors, diverse community, beautiful campus, and magical nature with plenty of things to do.

So on Friday night, holding my daughter’s acceptance letter in our hands, we hopped in the car and drove for 3 hours to check out this unbelievable place! 🙂

Thank GOD we did!

What they left out was that the school was located in the middle of nowhere, with the nearest book store an hour away, and when you ask for a recommendation for the best vegetarian place to eat, you hear “DOES THIS MEAN YOU DON’T EAT COWS??” in response.

As the student panel was sharing how much they love the school, I was really tempted to ask, “What DON’T you love about it?” but feared being egged by the audience LOL

It’s not that it was a bad college…

It was just the wrong college for my daughter...

Had we only relied on the gorgeous brochures and great testimonials from current students, we would end up making the wrong decision.

We then stopped by another school she applied to, and this time (perhaps by comparison) were truly delighted! And even captured a small moment of joy about potentially being accepted.

Have you ever bought a product or program, or hired someone based on their great marketing… only to realize you made the wrong choice?

Please share below in comments.

3 thoughts on “Biggest Business Lesson Learned from Taking My Daughter on College Tour

  1. Maya Harrison

    Hi Milana. I can relate to ordering products from a nationally well-known store. One reason I decided to order from that store was because of convenience, and not so much by the way they presented their products on their website. Although thei products on their website did look great. Plus they offered free shipping if you spend $35 or more.
    But once my package arrived I was very disappointed!

    Fiirst of all the box wasn’t sealed properly.
    Second, the bottom half, side and top of the box were wet. It looked like it had been soiled with something.
    Third, all of the other products inside the box were also wet & not wrapped properly.
    A couple of the products were ruined from the wetness-not sure what the wetness was.

    So needless to say I returned everything for a full refund. I received the full refund but never got the extra gift card customer service said they were going to send me in regards to the bad shipping experience.

    Anyway, that was the First and Last time I ordered anything from that company. But on the plus side, there’s a local store in town

  2. Bonnie Mincu

    Hi Milana: I just had to chime in on how much I love this blog post. The personal story is a great example of your own smart marketing (of an excellent product!) I’ve been remiss in my own blogging and this inspires me to share more examples from my own life that could help my readers.


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