Showing posts with label starbucks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label starbucks. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

‘Not For Profit’ ways are the NEW Marketing

I was early for the meeting the other day so I opted to spend time at Starbucks Store. With the Kindle app installed in my mobile, I read the ebook for an hour. Neither anyone asked me what I would buy to justify my occupying their chair there, nor there was any compulsion to buy anything. Like me, I was not alone, there were a few more like me completely engrossed in their mobile phones. Continue Reading....

Friday, March 14, 2014

What Farmers Can Teach Our Entrepreneurs ?

REAP WHAT YOU SOW , is a universal truth. 

If your organisation has systems , processes, targets , thinking and culture of MAKING MONEY at ANY cost. Your people are out there in the market will mis sell, over commit , indulge in unethical business practices, do all kinds of accounting jugglery , evade tax , do environmental harm, breaks laws. In the process your organisation will become anti social organisation though doing so called legal business.  You will attract and recruit people with similar culture and mindset. 

Fruits on the tree are the result of its seed, root, water , fertilizers & environmental support it consumes.

If you want Apple you need to sow seeds of Apple. This is the first and foremost requirements. Business culture percolates from the top is seed for the business. You cant expect your people to be honest when top management is indulging in all sorts of wrong doings. 

After the first step of sowing the seed, you need to nurture the tree with regular water, fertilizer and allow sun rays in right quality to get the best fruit. Even organic and inorganic fertilizers can impact the outcome. Likewise business processes, training and soft skills of the people, IT systems, leadership everything matters and impact the customer experience your company is offering to your customers. 

When you need to offer Kashmiri Apple roped with organic fertilizers , you need that kind of environment and nurturing.  You will not get the same Apple if you grow it in different environment and offers inorganic fertilizers like cosmetic culture. 

Therefore if you wish to attain SUSTAINABLE competitive advantage of offering delightful customer experience (CX), it starts with seed i.e. culture.  Only system, processes and training wont last much. Look at all companies known in CX space and you will  realise how their culture is and why they are leading in CX space.  Be it Virgin, Starbucks, Zappos or Apple. 

You can create delight factor for sometime or for some products/services or for some processes  but it wont be sustainable if it is not through culture change. Seed has to be right for delightful products or else delightful products are by chance and not by choice. 

Problem is top management expect best of the fruits - business performance but they turn blind eye on what it takes.  

The above report indicates possibility of loss of business internationally by Indian firms. However within India due to poor or not so delightful customer experience how much business local firms can lose to competing firms is yet not known. 

Bottom line is clear , if you want better bottom line , focus on CX and if you want better CX focus on seed i.e. culture at the top. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Brutal Focus on Customer Experience (CX)

Apple is known for their sharp focus on  CX. 

Perhaps they are the leaders. 

They take care of even 'box opening' experience of the customer. 

Recently I read their sharp customer focus as defined as Brutal Focus on CX. The word BRUTAL which otherwise used in negative connotation was used to define extreme positive connotation. 

There is a new book in the market titled Stuffocation. Author James Wallman explains us that in the new economy where everything is produced in plenty & costumes have variety of choices, how do marketeer / sellers differentiate in this crowded market?

In this new economy people are now fed up with stuff they have in their cupboards and homes.  New age customers want experiences. These customers are defined as eXperientialist customers. They need experiences. Experiences to immersed with, experiences to recollect, experiences to feel differently.  Even manufacturers , mall , retailers & service providers can create experiences - which are pleasantly memorable & worth sharing. Customers do not need to go on holiday or theme parks to get experiences.

There are examples of accounting firms, dentists , computer service businesses that are creating superior customer eXperiences.

Here lies a challenge and an opportunity for every enterprises. In the Stuffocation world
it is the experience economy that rules. 

Brutal Focus on CX - Apple  (Manufacturing & retailing)
Extreme Customer Orientation - Gjensidige Insurance Company (Service Provider)
There is a Book on The company's CX way of doing business - Starbucks (Retailing)
Customer Experience Co-Creation - Fidelity Mutual Funds (Service Provider)
Entertainment Business at 25000 feet above the sea level - Virgin Airlines (Travel)
__________________ - Your Company? 

Filling this blank will give direction to your enterprise and working on it will give competitive edge

Indian customers are eagerly waiting for a brand that can be matched with best in the world in CX creation.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are you selling Burger or Vadapav ?

Burger Vs Vadapav. What is the difference? 

Burger will cost you US $ 1 (Rs.55/-) while Vada Pav will cost less than 5th of US$ 1 (Rs.10/-). 

Burger is a Brand an Vapa Pav a commodity. 

Burger become a brand as it was presented in air conditioned outlet with a happening ambiance , hygienic condition & quality , unlimited time outlet allows you to sit. Perhaps cost-wise Burger may be costing few rupees more , taste-wise Vadapav may scores over Burger.   

In short both offers more or less same quantum of food and taste but price difference is 5 times. This 4 times difference people are paying is for experience not for food.  

Same is applicable to Starbucks Coffee vs Coffee at South Indian Hotels. Price difference is perhaps 10 times. Cost of Coffee itself may be 2 to 3 times more. They are charging 7 times more money for experience. This is called branded experience. 

Many a times professionally person with technically sound knowledge can’t command salary which a person with all round personality can.  

This DIFFERENCE in PRICING use to superior experience which people would LOVE to pay is critical. Critical for every business.  

In B2B or B2C all kind of businesses experience creators can command premium in pricing. You may be manufacturing best of Vadapav but even though you can’t command Burger pricing. You have to convert your Vadapav into BRANDED experience which is more than just meeting the need but meeting the need with ease and delight added.

Even small effort in this journey of customer experience creation will start fetching you better pricing and customer loyalty which all businesses are dying to achieve.     

Time for reality check and finding opportunity to add EXPERIENCES in your business offerings. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

By Design or by Default, Everything is an EXPERIENCE

Everything that happens to customer when they are dealing with any of the touch points of your business its an experience. 

Challenge is to make these experiences memorable and delightful without losing sight of the CORE value proposition. 

Starbucks offer scintillating customer experience but not at the cost of taste of the coffee. However only coffee taste can not create delight and memorability of customer experience. 

Therefore it is the responsibility as well as need of every enterprise to add more delight to the touch points. Customer is going to experience every bit of experience , now if you make it designers its becomes WOW!!! and adds to your competitive advantage or else it will remain one of the many such experiences enterprises offer.  

- Soothing music in the dentist's room can help patient in forgetting her pain

- Serving beverages to visitor's guests in hospital can add huge richness in experience

- Child Specialist Pediatrician set up small kids zone in her dispensary will make         
  it memorable for child patient for life

- Gynecologist offers Parenting Seminar coupon to would be parents can do wonders in 
  customer experience

- One of the CAs was offering car washing services for the clients visiting him

Every small and large businesses and professional firms can think of better and superior ways to add  that EXTRA bit to make the interaction and experience truly memorable.  

By default or by design CUSTOMERs are experiencing. Left to chance it can be miserable and when designed purposefully it can become delightful. Choice is yours. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Everything is up for Re-imagination

Yes. True.
World around is slowly but surely changing at speed not easily recognisable.  However change is happening and happening everyday.
New WORLD we are daily experiencing is the result of thinking or re-imagination of people around us. Someone somewhere is re-imagining the existing way of doing things and living life.
Steve Jobs re imagined laptops, mobile phones, music dispensing system  , Bill Gates re imagined operating system , Starbucks re-imagined coffee shop experience, Narendra Modi re-imagined politics of development & governance, Capt Gopinath re-imagined low cost airlines, Zappos re-imagined customer experience, Dr Kurian re imagined milk collection & distribution system,  Mark Zuckerberg re-imagined social networking, Baba Ramdev re-imagined Yoga for masses , Steven Spielberg & most movie makers are in re-imagination business, & Gandhiji re imagined use of non violence to achieve independence. Many people around us are re-imagining our world and doing their own bit to make the difference. Tom Peter has written a book Re-Imagine.
We all  have to re-imagine the world. Re imagine relationships, re imagine commuting , re imagine travelling, re imagine businesses, re imagine politics, re imagine parenting, re imagine governance and management , re imagine education , re imagine jobs & re imagine religions. There is no limit or restriction on any thing as far as Re Imagination goes. Its not about small changes here and there. Its something complete NEW and unheard of.  Conditioned mind will find it difficult , it requires unconditional mindset to re imagine.
 Re imagination capacity is the most valuable asset a person and organisation can have. Any entrepreneur, organisation and individual can create huge difference in the world by her power of re imagination and action to make imagination a real one.
Point is : World around is subject to change  and all those who can re-imagine the life and world around them & work towards achieving that change will  be the most sought after people. 
What is your re-imagination agenda?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Is the BRAND you represent LOVABLE??

Which are the brands do u as a customer LOVE??? If you take too much time to think you don’t LOVE any.  If the name is on your sleeve that’s LOVE.  

Passion for Customer will make your Brand Lovable.  We all know LOVE is a two way game. Customer will LOVE your brand only if you love your customers. What we do for our loved one requires no mention.  Passion of not sales person and marketing team, but its passion at the TOP that matters the MOST.  Yes (mostly ignored) culture of the organization percolates down from the TOP.  “Shining in the sun like a pearl upon the ocean “ is the Hindi movie song  but it has a message for every enterprise.  Yes end to end experience to the customer from the brand must be like that. It should be shining and visible from among its 100s of competitors.
You should be clear leader and on top of the mind of your customer in your category. Whenever there is a talk about delightful customer experience expamples are given about brands like Starbucks and now or Kingfisher Airlines in India. Hardly MOST companies embrace WOW !! / Delight and Memorable Customer Experience as their business strategy.  Its never their in any Business Plan. sends pleasant surprises to their customers along with orders . They invite customer,suppliers or anyone to visit their office in Las Vegas. I wonder why many companies even can not copy the best???
Entrepreneurs who celebrate their day to day business will delight their customers (even employees and suppliers too) . No one else.  What Laloo Culture could do to Bihar and what Nitish/Narendra Modi Culture is doing is for everyone to see. We are also witnessing what no culture at all can do at central leadership level. Its a clear case of CULTURE issue. Culture at the TOP matters the most. Bucks stops and start from there. Enterprise indulges in many many training programme for its people every year. True training deficit is mostly at the TOP { Who can tell their bosses/owners ???} .

Make it a point in next Management Meet  that objective worth pursing for next 12 months is Talk of the Town  { Customer Experience and Culture of Employee Happiness. } . No other strategies. Whatever it takes to achieve these two goals are the guiding actions. Period. Make your area of Influence a
merrier place. Celebrate your entrepreneurial endavour. Its about brand in action & its also about CSR in action.

Note: We all know how miserable Loveless life could be. Same applies to your BRAND. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

People who come to you for PRICE will leave u for PRICE

Yes. Obvious & TRUE.

Price is the ONLY differentiation your company ofter to the customers?  Think Twice about your business strategy. Today cut throat competition forces many businesses to merely compete on price. However this strategy may get u immediate business but will not take you long way in business. 

Thin margin to get business is riskier than  more margin but less business. Mere volume is without adequate profitability is company on steroids. High on workout and low on proteins. As with high workout muscles break down in our body & without adequate protein it cant be built , similarly with high turnover without adequate margin , business breaks down. Yes unsustainable activities without capability to invest for future sustainable activities like research and innovation or talent attraction and retention.

Secondly most critical are the differential factors that will decide the business volume other than price. What value you can design within your product. We buy branded products by paying premium. What differentiation brand offers ?? Comfort and confidence that product is of reasonable quality, customer service would be good if not outstanding, complaint would be handled professionally and with care, reasonable exchange policy and service centers.   

Therefore when Price  has become a major deciding factor, offering a WOW !!!! factors in your product and service design is very critical to become & remain competitive. Compete on WOW factors, there is not many players there.  Brands like Apple , Virgin , Starbucks, Amazon   { In India unfortunately service excellence and WOW factors are missing from product and service design ( pl share brands which matches best in the world brands in customer experience & service excellence ) } rare yet or hence sustainable. Customer will stay with these brands irrespective of price of their offerings. 

Next time when you get the deal merely on the basis of price, its an ALARM, think inward and check your business strategy and product and service design.  It requires IMMEDIATE attention { & action too} .

Friday, July 8, 2011

Business ( Scripts ) Processes that create Memory n Delight !!!!

Processes r SCRIPT of the Business. 

U can WOW !!!! or Un-wow CUSTOMERs through business processes. 

Some businesses r run without formal processes. Its people driven. Its keep changing from people to people. 

- Unorganised

Some businesses are only process driven without having customer in FOCUS. 

- Mechanical

Some Businesses are run by people and process. 

- Human

Like Film script, writing business script (Processes) is an ART.It requires understanding of businesshuman behavior, target market,  business objectives , culture & risk too. Its a team effort with whole organisation INVOLVED. 

To create Memorable & Delightful CUSTOMER Experience, approach to Business Processes plays KEY role.

Customer Experience Champion Starbucks Believes in:
( Converting ordinary experience into Extra ORDINARY )

- Make it your Own
- Everything Matters
- Surprise & Delight
- Embrace Resistance
- Leave your Mark

Happiness Champion believes (Core Values) in: 

- Deliver WOW through Services
- Embrace & Drive Change
- Create fun & little weirdness
- Be adventurous, creative and open minded
- Pursue Growth & Learning
- Built open & honest relationship with communication
- Built a positive team with family spirit
- Do more with less
- Be passionate and determined
- Be humble

Unless the core values or business motives are clear , business processes ( script ) will remain Mechanical and will/can never WOW!!!! 

Start with Core Value / Belief and Change Drivers and then write ( re-write / re-design/ re-vamp  ) script. Its a SCRIPT which decides success or failure of MOVIE ( Business too ) . 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5 Ways to Make CUSTOMERS your BRAND Ambassadors

People believes in customer reviews rather than brand ambassador's large cut outs and recommendations.Real brand ambassadors are customers as they recommend after using the offerings and so called brand ambassadors recommends for money they get!!!

When TRUST is the highest influencers  these new breed of brand ambassadors r preferred and searched on the net & social media. Today u search for any product or services , you will invariably get users reviews.I use reviews when I buy mobile phones, when I book hotels outstations,  when I want to experiment new things, when I do not want to subscribe to Speak Asia kind of schemes (I found whole lot of irregular things and cpl of articles by Sucheta Dalal in her magazine Money Life abt the Speak Asia drama which is going on with the help of Indian Print Media these days).Telling example of Branding vs Actual Customer Xperience. (now 19th May- govt has ordered inquiry into the affairs)

Bottom line is CUSTOMERS are net promoters or demoters of every BRANDs. Invest more in customer experience and less on BRAND Ambassadors which is paid , scripted & hence less authentic. 

Here are the ways U can make yr customers , yr brand ambassadors: (Experiment rigorously)

1) Go out of the way to solve customer problem.  Do it with SMILE. If U are a Dentist,don't just remove the teeth but give dental care booklet and free check up once a year bonus. 

2) Invite happy customers to periodic customer get to gather. Share their stories on blog, website and social media. Offer some branding mileage to those customers.(Introduce them and their business on social media)

3) Help and try to make your customers more successful in what they do. Have solution and not transaction approach.

4) To the extent possible customize the deal and make them feel special. As a tour organizer U have tie up with particular hotel, have an arrangement with the hotel to convey customer's preference, data and choice for surprise and delight. They must feel special for booking the hotel through yr company. 

5) Have Happy Hour.  On any one day a week ,lets say every Tuesday, allow any one randomly selected customer free shopping/buying/consuming every hour. Word of mouth publicity will much more cover the cost of free offerings.
Have as many surprise elements in yr offerings as possible.  

I am a FAN of , Starbucks & Virgin way of doing business. Why not every one else too? Looking for similar passion and enthusiasm from Indian Company !!!! Any 1 ? Kingfisher is closing in.

Not only do business , make it a fun for all involved.We ,after all , live only once and time to make FANs  are too short. Go full blast from TODAY. Share yr results here.