My experience with Brooks running shoes started a few years ago in a specialty shop, Runners Roost in downtown Colorado Springs (locally owned since 1977). I tested shoes from classics like Saucony and New Balance, the gorilla Nike, and newcomers On and Altra. Brooks fit and felt the best, so I left with a pair of their neutral, lightweight Ghost 7s for $120.
Years later, I’ve since run through several pairs. Years from now, I’ll almost certainly still be running in Brooks. I rarely pay full retail for products with such fast product cycles; you can always pick up a version one or two models back at a serious discount. And yet I’ve bought two Ghosts at full retail.
Here in this post, hear a customer service story about what Brooks did to make their brand stronger in the place it matters most – a customer’s heart and mind.
I’m not a car guy. The closest I get is a twinge of excitement upon receipt of the release of Consumer Reports‘ annual car issue (it’s pretty good).
This means I’ve not jammed this “car” post full of specs like backseat headroom, cargo space, or acceleration. Instead, it’s based on years of ownership experience – and the experience demanded this be organized and published.
We’ve not had a car payment in years. We’re driving a 2003 Volkwagen Jetta wagon and a 2008 Subaru Forester. We paid the same price for each, but there are 5 ways the former beats the latter for an average driver.
Here are quick acquisition stories – and some unanticipated woes of owning the Subaru Forester. #5 is when it gets expensive.
If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek‘s Start with Why, then you’re familiar with his Golden Circle.
Your Why is at the core.
It’s wrapped in your How.
And the circle’s outermost ring is your What.
The pitch: Most companies pitch themselves outside in (What you do, How you do it, Why you do it). But working inside out (Why, How, What) is far more inspiring and effective.
Because the model is so simple, yet powerful, Sinek’s 2009 presentation at TEDx Puget Sound is one of the most viewed TED videos ever (see it).
Here are two non-competitive, side-by-side looks at (and listens to) the same song producing a dramatically different customer experience. And what that means for your business.
The What: the same notes played and the same lyrics sung in the same order.
The Why and How: wonderfully distinct musical outcomes.
A chorus of “I told you so” came down last week as headlines tied minimum wage hikes to job automation.
Fox News: “Minimum Wage Hike Backfiring? Wendy’s Increases Self-Service Kiosks”
Washington Times: “As minimum-wage hikes become mandatory, Wendy’s looks to expand self-service kiosks”
Investors.com: “Wendy’s Serves Up Big Kiosk Expansion As Wage Hikes Hit Fast Food”
The idea: raising minimum wage causes companies to eliminate jobs, bringing in job automation through self-service.
Keep in mind that Wendy’s itself only operates only 10% of stores, including zero in California (a minimum wage warfront), so they don’t fully bear these costs directly. Also, they cited competition to “access good labor” as a key driver of wage inflation. In other words, it’s hard to find good people, so they’re increasing wages to attract and retain them. And especially as the fast foot market softens overall, price competition remains fierce and cost pressures remain high.
Notable in the Wendy’s announcement was that mobile ordering and mobile payments are also coming.
And here’s where any confusion about correlation and causation breaks. And where a brief consideration of job automation begins.
There’s an inevitability to it all (maybe).
“It’s rarely one brand that knocks off another. Usually, brands succumb to self-inflicted wounds.”
See what I did there? I opened up this post about quotes from You Can’t Ride Two Horses with One Ass by branding expert Kurt Bartolich with a quote from the book.
The essence of the opening quote and of the book is brand conservancy. Protection. Vigilance. Curation.
Many branding books have been written on how to build a brand. Now we’ve got a clear and concise guide to nurturing and protecting our most valuable asset from the lack of discipline and understanding that devalue, if not destroy, our brand.
The book title itself is a quote. “I immediately recognized how it embodies everything I believe about branding,” Kurt writes in the opening chapter about the expression he heard an account manager use with a client.
And with that … two dozen quotes about brand conservancy from You Can’t Ride Two Horses with One Ass.
First, the good news. Any day now, we should receive a free shipping label from HP to send our useless printer to one of their recycling centers.
That’s the full and complete extent of the good news.
This is the story of an otherwise functional HP PhotoSmart 6525 All-In-One Inkjet Printer that stopped printing black ink and, as a consequence, faces the fate of dismantling and (hopefully) reuse.