(Time to read this Blog is about 2.5 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking:

  1. My biz quote of the week:
    “Great design of our products, services, spaces or experiences has the profound ability to uplift, delight and energize our target customers.  Bad design just stresses and depresses them.   As leaders and managers, we must Insist on and inspire great design in every part of our business!”
    …Donald Cooper.
  1. The frustration of job applicant ‘no-shows’. Many of our clients are frustrated about how difficult it is to get applicants to show up for job interviews.  They don’t show up, they don’t call or email…and they don’t respond to follow-ups.A McDonald’s in Tampa Bay, Florida is now offering applicants $50 just to show up for an interview.  This makes no sense to me.  What kind of employee will they likely turn out to be if you have to bribe them like that?
  1. Free access to one of my most insightful Biz Tools. I’ve just redone one of my most helpful Biz Tools #B-9…’Define yourself by how you help!’.  Most businesses define themselves by what they sell…and it’s a big mistake.  Defining yourself by how you help your target customers can create hundreds of ideas on how to differentiate yourself, add value, increase sales and grow your bottom line.  To access this Biz Tool, no charge, Click Here.   If you’d like help in implementing this transformational process, I’m easy to find at donald@donaldcooper.com.

Business lessons from a foot-long hot dog…with onion rings!

Our last cruise before the world shut down for Covid was on the magnificent 5-star cruise ship, The Viking Sun.  For years, Viking had been the world’s top-rated river cruise provider.  In 2015 they entered the already crowded luxury ocean cruise market.  To clearly differentiate themselves, their ships had no casino, no annoying ship’s photographer pursuing you and no bar staff endlessly flogging overpriced drinks.  They also offered free internet in each stateroom and throughout the ship when other cruise lines charged an arm and a leg for internet.  But, the one thing in particular that ‘grabbed’ me was the 12” hot dogs at the pool-side grill.

I haven’t had a foot-long hot dog since I was a kid…and there they were on The Viking Sun.  With onion rings!  WOW.  It was special because it was unexpected.   How do the folks who run a cruise line based in Norway even know about foot-long hot dogs?  But they did.  They did the ‘homework’.  Then, they had a basic human insight that their target customers would love them (who wouldn’t?).

They sourced them, they bake fresh, special 12” buns every day…then they take the time to toast the buns, just right, on the grill before inserting the hot dog. And the hot dog comes with real, home-made onion rings.  This is ‘heaven at sea’.  I had one every day.  Some days…two!

The Viking Sun ship offers gourmet dining in three different restaurants, but you’ll notice that I’m telling you about the 12” hot dogs at the pool-side grill.  What does that tell you about the incredible power of memorable and joyful customer experiences delivered through basic human insight and a commitment to do the work required to make ‘special’ happen?

Whatever product or service you sell, your market is over-served and under-differentiated…and mediocrity is no longer an option.  So, what’s special about you and the value and experience you deliver?  What work are you doing to understand what will ‘grab’ your target customers, clearly differentiate you from your competitors, make you ‘famous’ and grow your bottom line?  What are the ‘foot-long hot dogs’ in your business?  And do you add ‘onion rings’?


That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 

Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

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