Published on: October 25, 2012
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Think of this as a kind of Andy Rooney commentary.
In other words, it is about stuff that sort of annoys me. Everyday stuff - all business related - that just rubs me the wrong way. Stuff that I notice as I wander around Main Street USA.
Obviously there has been a lot of attention paid to the announcement yesterday of the new iPad Mini. But what interests me more is that a month after the release of the iPhone 5, the Apple Store still does not have any cases for the new smart phone. I know this because Mrs. Content Guy recently got an iPhone 5 - not because she has an enormous desire to be up to date technologically, but because the iPhone she was using was almost an antique and not working particularly well.
When she asked to buy a case, the guy at the Apple Store said that we'd have to look elsewhere ... apparently because there is a supply shortage, and none of the Apple Stores will carry them until all of the Apple Stores can carry them. This strikes me as colossally dumb ... and makes me ask a question that I hate to ask: Would this have happened when Steve Jobs was alive? I think not...because he was focused on the entire experience, not just selling a new gadget.
That's a missed sales opportunity. And a misstep.
I hate that kind of dissonance. It is like fingernails on the chalkboard.
I was walking by a barbershop the other day, and I notice two things. One is that it was empty. The other was that the sole barber on duty had a horrible haircut - it looked like it had been done with a hacksaw by a blind man. There is no way I ever would let this guy anywhere near my hair ... and it is a good lesson. If you want to sell something, you have to demonstrate some expertise about it.
It's like when you open up those airline magazines, and you see these multi-page ads with pictures of the nation's so-called best plastic surgeons. I say "so-called" because if I were going to have something about my appearance fixed, I'd probably want to pick someone with a face that shouts out competence. Not to be unkind, but some of these folks could use a good consult ... or they simply believe that beauty is more than skin deep, which is an admirable quality, though not necessarily what I'd be looking for in a plastic surgeon.
Another thing ... there's a Whole Foods not far from me, and every once in a while I see guys in Whole Foods uniforms outside grabbing a smoke. Really? Is that the message they want to send? Consistency means something. or ought to.
Finally, I think that sometimes retailers don't think things through. I was walking past some stores the other day and noticed that one of them was closed midday, but there was a sign on the door saying "Back in 15 minutes." Which is great, but ... 15 minutes from when? Wouldn't it be better to say what time you'll be back, instead of the length of the departure, since nobody knows when you actually left?
Again, think things through. Think like a consumer.
These kinds of dissonances may not seem like much, may seem like isolated and unrelated cases.
But I think that for every one of these examples, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of similar examples ... and that each one teaches us lessons about how to be better at our jobs, to run more consumer-oriented businesses.
Anyway, that's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: