Last week the local Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) store featured a great buy on a tabletop propane heater. Not only was this item on the front of their weekly flyer, but it was also being actively promoted on the PA system within the store.
There was only one problem. A propane heater naturally requires propane to work. And even though OSH carries small portable propane tanks, they didn't have the ones in the proper configuration to fit the heater. Whoops.
So making this work required an additional trip to guess where to get the correct propane tank: Home Depot.
Hmm. Driving your customers to visit your competition to complete their product experience with you? Not the best way to keep the flames of loyalty burning bright.
Don't make me work harder to do business with you. And be sure not to blaze a path for your customers to the competition.
Today is Thanksgiving, the day Americans pause to give thanks for the many blessings we receive throughout the year.
Due to a strange glitch in the alignment of the lunar and solar calendars, it's also the first day of Hanukkah--a holiday that more often aligns with the Christmas season.
Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of good over evil: the victory of the Maccabees over the Assyrians in their quest to maintain religious freedom. Throughout the last half century, Hanukkah has been subject to the same commercialization as Christmas, resulting in a similar focus on shopping and gifts rather than the true meaning of the holiday.
However, the word "Hanukkah" means rededication. In the original context, following the battle of the Maccabees, enough oil was found to rededicate the lamp in the Holy Temple and last 8 days until more oil could be found. This has translated to the tradition of eating foods fried in oil, such as potato latkes and doughnuts.
Today we have a unique opportunity to not only give thanks in the traditional sense, but to rededicate ourselves to what's good and right in our lives, as well as to work to help repair what's NOT right in the world.
Whatever your religious background, take time to mix a helping of rededication with your Thanksgiving celebration today.
This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F Kennedy in Dallas, TX.
Five decades later, we are still debating whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, how Jack Ruby was able to get close enough to Oswald to kill him, and who might be behind a tangled web of conspiracy and coverup on that grassy knoll.
What's clear though is that the events of that day brought to a close the era we called Camelot...a time following the end of WWII when we had a different, perhaps more simplistic view of world events. Following Kennedy's death, we were plunged into an unwinable war in Vietnam, student unrest and violence at home, and a vastly different global economic climate.
Yet by the end of the decade we had put a man on the moon, as Kennedy had challenged us to do. Would we have been better or worse off if JFK had not died that day in Dallas? No one knows, but this weekend we take a moment to remember the man who advised us to ask not what our country could do for us but what we could do for our country.
Libby Wagner, poet, author, speaker and former CEO of Influencing Options, is one of the only former poetry professors warmly invited into the boardroom. She is a trusted advisor for presidents, CEOs and executive directors, and her work has shaped the cultures of numerous Fortune 500 clients, including Boeing, Nike, Philips, ST Microelectronics, Diageo and Costco.
In this podcast, Libby talks about the poetry of persuasion, and the importance of using voice and language to connect brands and customers. She explains why if companies don't find their brand voice, they'll wind up going somewhere they didn't intend to be.
In a story reminiscent of man-bites-dog, Amazon is implementing Sunday delivery of packages for the holiday season...through the US Postal Service.
The Post Office has been bleeding red ink for years, and recently tried to cut back delivery from six to five days a week. However, the arrangement with Amazon is a win-win-win: Customers in the cities targeted for this service get timely delivery of packages during the holidays, Amazon earns kudos for service and responsiveness, and the US Postal Service gets a much-needed source of new revenue.
This out-of-the-box thinking is one reason Amazon continues to lead the pack in the ecommerce space. Anyone could have done this, but no one else was innovative enough to consider this kind of public-private partnership.
What kind of innovative, creative solutions can you implement to make your customers more satisfied, and more successful? How can you deliver value that is above and beyond what others offer?