Meijer And The Donut Honor System

Posted by March 16, 2012 by David RichComments

I visited a Meijer store in Michigan on my latest trip to their HQ this week. The deliberate absence of anything high tech -- no iPhone app, no QR Codes -- is what struck me the most.

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping

Defining The Boundaries Of a Narrow Space

Posted by March 9, 2012 by David RichComments

When you only have a narrow entry way into your shop, managing traffic can be a nightmare; unless you set some boundaries. Where many shops put up signs that say "Line forms here" or "Order Here/Pay Here," Joe the Art of Coffee in NYC has solved the problem in a more creative yet demonstativiely forceful way.

They put footprints on the floor that show you exactly how to dance.

Think Arthur Murray Dance Studios or those old '70s dance kits that showed you how to do The Hustle. Put this foot there, the other foot here; you're dancing like a pro!

Or in this case, standing in the right line for coffee.

Joe's solved a problem every coffee shop counter has -- managing the line. They've freed up their employees and customers from having to referee the line.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience

Building Stuff Is In Our DNA

Posted by February 29, 2012 by David RichComments

Joe with 718 Cyclery knows that the need to build is hard-wired into the DNA of the human animal. What he also knows is that when confronted with a nebulous goal of "just build something," most people will never get on with it.

The need to build requires direction. The need to build requires boundaries to be constructive.

Joe creates those boundaries with bicycles in much the same way bumpers guide a bowling ball down the alley for a new bowler.

"This whole business is built around building bikes with people," he states early in his company video.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience

Shared Vision. It's In Our DNA

Posted by February 15, 2012 by David RichComments

Google describes their doodles as "the fun, surprising and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists."

In 2000, Google produced its first doodle for Bastille Day. It was so well received by our users that doodles started showing up more and more regularly on the Google homepage. In the beginning, the doodles mostly celebrated familiar holidays; nowadays, they highlight a wide array of events and anniversaries from the Birthday of John James Audubon to the Ice Cream Sundae.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience

JC Penney Roots

Posted by February 6, 2012 by David RichComments

On Feb 1st, JC Penney unveiled its new pricing strategy and service policies called Fair and Square. JC Penney describes it as three kinds of pricing, one happy return policy. It got our attention for a couple reasons.

Simplicity of message: The three kinds of pricing are everyday low pricing, month-long values and best prices. The "best prices" will happen on the 1st and 3rd fridays of every month.

Leadership change: Ron Johnson used to be the Senior VP of Retail for Apple and is now the CEO of JC Penney. He helped shape the Apple Store concept and Genius Bar.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience

Expanding Your Footprint Without Adding Footage

Posted by January 26, 2012 by David RichComments

Speed Theory is not your ordinary bike shop.

Besides selling some sweet Cervelo, Felts and Argon bicycles for your next Ironman, it is also a place where anyone can get a great bike to compete in the local mini triathlon or just to cruise on some backroads.

Speed Theory makes great use of its real estate, even when the shop is closed. When I arrived at 5:30 am, the temperature was –22° F and I watched people trickle in -- carrying their bicycles and trainer apparatus -- until there were about twenty of us in all. They were all coming for spin class, but this was not like the spin class you did at the gym last week.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience

Kelly Swallow Knows Who She Is

Posted by January 6, 2012 by David RichComments

Watch this video. It is very short (7 seconds.) And that's kinda the point I'm about to make.

Kelly Swallow makes chairs that make people smile.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience

No Reservations

Posted by December 27, 2011 by David RichComments

I'm vacationing with my family in Europe over the next week, visiting Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. One of my favorite places to visit when I am in Paris is Le Relais de l'Entrecôte. I like it mostly because they have defined the boundaries of dining experience

They serve only one entrée; steak frites cooked rare, medium rare or medium. You order your steak the way you like it and the server writes it on your tablecloth, then brings out your salad -- lettuce topped with walnuts and a mustard vinaigrette.

After your salad starter, your steak is brought to you in two stages, with one half held back to keep warm, so you can enjoy it at its best and is accompanied with more freshly prepared frites.

The only wine is red.

And they don't take reservations.

Read More

Topics: Brand Experience

No Rain, No Rainbows

Posted by December 21, 2011 by David RichComments

What do you do with almost $10,000 worth of merchandise that you can't return to online retailers because their return procedures are so dysfunctional? If you are STELLAService, you break out the wrapping paper and bows, have a wrapping party and donate the items to various charities throughout New York City.

And we decided to help them.

STELLAService tests online retailers by purchasing and returning real products as a normal customer would. Usually they return the items, but due to poor customer service they were stuck with this stuff.

Read More

Topics: Customer Experience

Information Rich, Execution Poor

Posted by December 20, 2011 by myadminComments

A solid mystery shopping program consists always of three components:

- Objective measurements
- Never a "gotcha" program
- Action, not just reporting

Often misunderstood and even more often not implemented correctly, mystery shopping are one of the most important tools you can use to measure, manage and improve the customer experience.

A few things you may or may not know. Mystery shopping is the only objective way to measure the customer experience. Why is that important?

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping