(Time to read this Blog is about 3.5 minutes)


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

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:
    “Are you trying to get your customers to do what you want them to do, or are you committed to helping them do what they want to do?” 
    …Donald Cooper.
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    Should you create a ‘Future Leaders Program’ in your business?
    According to a Survey by the Kellogg School of Management, 94% of employees at all levels, including managers, stated that they would stay with their employer longer if they received training, mentoring and career development.  That’s huge!
    What are you doing to provide growth and career development opportunities for your Team?  Should you create a ‘Future Leaders Program’?  What might that look like and who will make this happen…by when?
  3. Dealing with rampant shoplifting. To cope with rampant shoplifting, Fredericksen Hardware, in business since 1896 in San Francisco, now has an employee escort each customer while they peruse the aisles. Customers must wait at the store entrance until an employee is available.
  4. News Flash! Today, March 13, is ‘National Open An Umbrella Indoors Day’.   It’s also ‘National Good Samaritan Day’.   I’m going with #2.
  5. World’s Best Train Ride!  Travel + Leisure Magazine readers have voted Canadian-owned Rocky Mountaineer as  the World’s Best Train Rides.  They have a number of routes in the Canadian Rockies and a new ‘Rockies to Red Rocks’ journey that goes from Colorado to Utah.
  6. How I can be helpful in 2024: If you have an industry or company Conference coming up in 2024 where my bottom-line insights on management, marketing and profitability will be helpful, I’m easy to find at donald@donaldcooper.com. Our most requested Sessions  are:
    1. Accelerate Your Business…the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line…and have a life.’
    2. Create Your Compelling Service Advantage…how to amaze your customers, differentiate your business…and grow your bottom line!’
    3. Winning the Talent Wars…8 essential steps to attracting, developing, leading & engaging a top-performing team.’
    4. ‘Creating Your High-Performance Cultureimproving clarity, commitment, accountability & profitability in your business!”  
    5. Vision Critical…how to manage, innovate and thrive in a very different tomorrow!’
    6. Succession Planning & Exit Strategies…preparing your business and yourself for the most important financial transaction of your life!’

These programs can be 90-minute Keynotes, or half-day or full-day interactive Sessions.  I don’t do ‘canned’ Sessions.  One size does not fit all.  Each program is customized and tailored to deliver your specific outcomes.

Here’s an attendee comment from a recent Conference session, “Best, most insightful, most ‘real’ management speaker we’ve had in 30 years!  His complete set of free Management Assessment & Implementation Tools is a huge bonus!”

Now, to this week’s important topic:


Cooper’s ‘Back-assward’ approach to creating extraordinary new products, services or experiences in your business: 

Most businesses create a new product, service or customer experience and then try to write some sort of advertising to promote and sell it.  Just for once, try my ‘back-assward’ approach to creating amazing, customer-owning products, services or experiences.

First, sit down and write an ad for a product, a service, or a customer experience that would be absolutely compelling to your target customers.  What would really ‘grab’ them?  What would put you so far ahead of your competitors that they’d cry, “Unfair competition”?  What would be so amazing that it would literally make you ‘famous’? 

Sit down with a few of the best minds and hearts in your business and get creative.  Think and feel like a customer.  Write the ad.  No whining!  The ad doesn’t have to look fancy.  You don’t need beautiful graphics…it’s about the idea!   

Step two is to figure out how you’re going to create and consistently deliver whatever it is that you came up with…and how you’re going to do that profitably.  This might mean rethinking how you do business or changing your business model.  Once again, no whining.

The good news is that you won’t be a commodity anymore, so price won’t be the biggest issue for your customers…unless ‘price’ is your big idea, in which case you’re going to figure out how to be the lowest cost, most efficient producer or seller. 

The world’s best example of ‘back-assward’ thinking is Henry Ford and his Model T car.  In the early 1900’s hundreds of small shops painstaking built automobiles by hand.  As a result, none of them could sell a car for less than $2,500 ($87,000 in today’s money). That was a huge sum in those days, so cars sold in small numbers to the very wealthy.

Seeing the potential for the automobile to fundamentally transform society and the economy, in 1908 Henry Ford used ‘back-assward’ thinking to ask the question, “What price would I have to be able to sell a car for if I wanted to sell a LOT of cars?”  He came up with a price of $849.  Then, he set out to design and engineer a car and a revolutionary new production method (the assembly line) to produce that car profitably, for $849.  Even better, he paid his employees a high enough wage that they could afford to buy one of the cars they built.

Did Henry’s ‘back-assward’ thinking work?  It appears so.  By 1920, one of every two cars sold  in the world was a Ford Model T!

How can the ‘back-assward’ approach to product, service or experience development work for your business?  


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.

One Response to Cooper’s ‘Back-assward’ approach to creating extraordinary new products, services or experiences in your business:
  1. Comment *I had the privilege of visiting your clothing store – back in the day – you lived your advice. Always great to read your work.


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