Enterprise Marketing & Promotions Management

Becoming the Favorite

By / December 2017


Good, fast and cheap. It used to be that a retailer could pick two. No longer.

Let’s say operationally you’ve achieved all three – you’ve got a good selection, your shopping experience is fast and easy and you’re price competitive.

Congratulations. You’re now officially just like every other retailer. Here’s a suggestion – behave more like a hospitality company and less like a retailer.

Yeah, infuse some good ol’ hospitality into your shopping experience.

Danny Meyer, owner of Gramercy Tavern, wrote a great book called, “Setting the Table” in which he points out that to be considered the best, you have to get people to say, “That’s my favorite place to eat!” In Meyer’s estimation, hospitality will help people overlook an average meal or a longer-than-usual wait time.

Hospitality is different from quality, service or lowest cost. It’s a business mentality that leads to changing shopper perceptions at every possible opportunity.

Take for example, Chick Fil A. If you go there at lunchtime, your wait time is likely to be around 8 minutes (8:25, to be precise…. I’ve timed it). But, my perceived wait time is a fraction of that because of their uber-hospitable staff. Their level of hospitality changes my perception and makes me forget that fast food really is supposed to be faster than 8 minutes.

People don’t just want it fast or cheap – they want a great experience. How you make people feel is what they’ll remember way more than how much they paid or how long they waited. (For the record, I’d wait up to 15 minutes for a Chick Fil A….just sayin’.)

Contributed by West Herford, President and CEO – On Ideas

A Tar Heel born and bred, West got into advertising 25 years ago because it seemed like it would be a lot of fun. Along the way, he’s raced go-karts against Formula 1 champions, sipped Tennessee whiskey in Chinese focus groups, and learned how to filet in a butcher shop. So far, so good. His career spans leadership roles at Arnold, DDB Paris, DDB London and Grey. West received his Bachelor of Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill, and his Master of Business Administration from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Oh, and if West were president for a day he’d sign an executive order to mandate a daily siesta.

On Ideas, a digital branding agency with offices in Jacksonville and Sarasota, Florida, are change agents for brands that are emerging, embattled or simply ready to evolve into their best selves.


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