Click on the banner to visit our new and improved consumer trends blog!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A novel idea: The customer is NOT always right

I’m cleaning out my email in-box, and catching-up on some story ideas that were good but not urgent over the past week. One of the items that caught my eye was this story from the New York Times, explaining that some New York restaurants have taken a hard line on allowing almost any customer input.

Their position, if I may paraphrase, is that “we’re not for everyone; if you don’t like the way we cook the food (without your input), then we’re not a good fit for you and you should go somewhere else.” Click here to see the story for yourself.

Implications: Gutsy move, right? And maybe, just maybe… brilliant.

While riding with a colleague to dinner one night, we passed through the retail neighborhood that almost every city and suburb is familiar with. It had an Office Depot, a Bed Bath and Beyond, Michael’s craft store, a Barnes & Noble, and of course, a Starbucks and an Applebee’s (among other recognizable national franchise joints).

My friend turned and said, “Welcome… to Generica.” It was the perfect, succinct observation, and delivered dead-pan at just the right time.

Do you ever water-down the charm of your company, product or service for the sake of appealing to more people? Does doing so run the risk of making you less appealing to your core? In a world where consumers are so often researched down to their lowest common denominators, perhaps a restaurant that isn’t right for everyone… is just what their most valuable customers are after.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment