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.
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).