jump to navigation

All I wanna do is to thank you June 16, 2009

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, business strategy, conversation, marketing.
Tags: , , , , ,
3 comments

Readers who recall my 5 step marketing mantra will remember point 5 stated the most remarkable thing you can have is exceptional customer service. We’re sadly still in a place where a number of organisations don’t get this, due in large part to the customer service departments being seen as a necessary evil, a cost of doing business. As a result, the people staffing these roles are not empowered to simply solve problems and instead are hamstrung by rules designed to elicit the bare minimum of support; enough to keep the customers at the table but not nearly enough to actually make them happy to be there.

The contrast between the great and the not so great was rammed home for me recently thanks to a lousy experience with one of the world’s largest magazine publishers and one of the world’s smallest cafes. Those who know me know my love for coffee is wholly unbridled, bordering on obsessive. They will also know the outright contempt I hold for the Starbucks of the world, suffice to say North America is not David-friendly when it comes to my dark master.

Reach out and touch somebody

Reach out and touch somebody

Thankfully here in Toronto I have found Balzac’s, an independent coffee house which roasts its own beans and makes, quite simply, the best coffee I’ve had here so far. Having fallen in love with the store-bought goods I began ordering online, and when the first batch showed up, I was greeted with a hand-written card, offering up a 15% off code for my next order and a note about their Facebook application.

Let’s review that people:

  • I already love the product
  • They’re making it cheaper for me to get
  • AND they’re offering me another way to interact with their brand.

Contrast this with Conde Nast, who told me, when my issue of Wired failed to appear (while my co-workers waltzed around with their’s) that I needed to wait 2 weeks before they could fulfill a missing order. Having waited patiently, I contacted them at the appropriate time to be told:

We are sorry to inform you that the issue you requested is no longer available.

To be fair, they then told me my subscription would be extended by an issue, but this is not the point. I understand magazines are having a hard time of it lately.

Can I suggest though the ways to innovate in your business model are not to deprive people of the thing they desire in the interests of saving a couple dollars.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Let’s call the whole thing off July 31, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, digital strategy, marketing, technology, web 2.0.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
17 comments
Whats wrong with this picture?

What's wrong with this picture?

Australian music manager Glen Wheatley’s latest project Stripe is set to launch. It is a digital radio service which will have 40 stations up by Christmas playing over the 3G network to any 3G enabled phone, and 100 by the end of 2009. Those wanting to have ad-free radio on their phones will apparently part with a little less than $10 a month for the privilege.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so painfully short-sighted. All together now: the epic, epic lulz.

It betrays just how deeply bereft of real strategic insight media is – and how sorely the media industry needs fresh DNA, instead of old dudes with the same old lame ideas.

Thanks Umair. Mind you he didn’t write that about Stripe, he wrote that about a misguided Wired article where old media guy #1 was berating new media guy #2 for spending time in Second Life as it wouldn’t help him sell more Coke. The point remains though.

Let’s do the why’s together so we all take something away:

  1. Why would I pay $10 a month for radio on my phone?
  2. Particularly me who does not listen to radio at all?
  3. Why in an age of increased personalisation will I believe you can satisfy me with someone else’s taste-making?
  4. Why create a service that relies on early-adopter up-take when the early-adopters do not listen to radio or value music in pure ones-and-zeroes terms?

Now, I imagine much of the VC money has already been sunk, unfortunate for those involved. If you guys with the money could just begin to understand that broadcasting in a one-to-many model is dying and being replaced with niche-casting and many-to-many, you might have a hope of creating something with lasting value.

This last quote from Programming Director Jarrod Graetz is killer:

“A great advantage of our service is that you don’t need a new device or gadget to hear us. If you’ve got 3G coverage, you can access your favourite music and programs from your (3G) mobile phone, and of course on broadband internet. No ad breaks, less interruptions, more music. We position ourselves as “What you want on radio” because we believe Stripe delivers what Australia wants.”

The bolding is mine (the lack of vision entirely their’s). I may not need a device to hear you, but I have a device anyway, it is called an iPod. It comes with NO interruptions and ONLY my favourite music and programs. See, it doesn’t actually matter if you do serve up what I want on radio, because I don’t want radio.

Ever.

Image courtesy of Dave Goodman, with thanks to compfight.