Making NO delicious. Topping Dominos

Posted on April 13, 2012 by David RichComments

You can't have extra cheese, substitute or remove toppings or ask for thicker crust on Dominos Artisan pizzas. They won't do it.

That is part of a Dominos pizza with boundaries strategy on their four artisan pizzas.

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Topics: Brand Experience

Lululemon - "It can't be that simple."

Posted on March 27, 2012 by David RichComments

In an age when most retailers are spending their time gathering large amount of data on their customers through surveys, social media and just plain begging to leave feedback, Lululemon Athletica Inc is taking a polar opposite approach to listening to their customers.

They are literally listening to their customers, doing things like placing the folding tables close to the fitting rooms to be able to hear complaints first-hand and in real-time.

Lululemon is an apparel chain that sells high-end yoga and athletic wear. They have created a rabid fan base for their product by creating scarcity with their product. They also have an obsessive "Big data gives you a false sense of security," says Ms. Day.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Meijer And The Donut Honor System

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

Defining The Boundaries Of a Narrow Space

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Brand Experience

Building Stuff Is In Our DNA

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Brand Experience

Shared Vision. It's In Our DNA

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Brand Experience

JC Penney Roots

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Brand Experience

Expanding Your Footprint Without Adding Footage

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Brand Experience

Kelly Swallow Knows Who She Is

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Brand Experience

No Reservations

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Brand Experience

No Rain, No Rainbows

Posted on 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.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Information Rich, Execution Poor

Posted on December 20, 2011 by Nanette BrownComments

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?

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Topics: Mystery Shopping

When Does The Customer Experience Begin?

Posted on December 19, 2011 by David RichComments

Earlier, we examined when a customer experience ends at a retail store, but when does the experience actually begin? Here are several examples of companies in various industries who have examined the question and have pushed the customer experience dramatically forward of their front door.

VW - Automobiles
If you were a car company, you may say the retail experience for the customer begins when the customer enters the showroom and starts looking at the cars. But VW would disagree with you. Watch the following video about their factory in Dresden, Germany.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Helping You Make Things Less Complex

Posted on December 13, 2011 by David RichComments

Customer Experience programs come in all shapes and sizes. It can be overwhelming. We at ICC strongly believe in a balance of objective and subjective feedback, a bias for action and a win-win mentality.

What I have been seeing more and more lately are companies who have made things far too complex and in turn, jeopardize the success of their companies and careers.

Here are a few tips I'd like to share:

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Topics: Customer Experience

When Does The Retail Experience End?

Posted on December 8, 2011 by David RichComments

Does the shopping experience at a brick and mortar store end when you are done shopping or when you are done checking out?

For many who live primarily in a digital environment, the experience ends when they are ready to check out. The check out process for them is a necessary evil, one they are defining as more and more unnecessary. They can check out in 1-Click on; why can't they check out in a few minutes at a mall clothing store?

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Topics: Brand Experience

Customer Experience Update