Change of scene
There are times when I just need to get out of my office and change my environment for a little while. Since I can write almost anywhere, I throw my laptop in my backpack and set out for a favorable spot that has wi-fi. Many times I end up at the nearest Starbucks. I grab a good hot cup of coffee and set up my mobile office. I pull out my laptop, a few notes, place my phone on the table, and start writing.
I’m not one of those people who can stay entirely focussed on what I’m doing when I’m in a public place. I enjoy watching other people, observing what they are doing, and how they are interacting. It’s these observations that brought about this week’s Wrap-up.
Whenever anyone mentions major brands, McDonald’s and Starbucks are probably at the top of most people’s lists. McDonald’s is known for its consistency and good food. The prices are reasonable and the variety of their menu items fits most appetites. Starbucks most often is referred to as a place with consistent service and great coffees that sell at higher than normal prices. And yet, there are few who wouldn’t like to buy a fancy coffee and spend time in their welcoming stores.
The Starbucks I was in that day was in a downtown area, and there were all kinds of people inside and outside the store. There were students, tattooed office workers, salespeople making presentations, businessmen going over reports, and couples snuggling in the far corners of the store on cushy couches. Outside there were rich people and poor people; those with and those without. And there were the ever-present panhandlers. They found Starbucks a good place to get a handout. If someone can afford a $5.00 coffee, they can afford to hand over a little change to help out some poor guy.
As I watched the panhandlers work the patrons coming in and out of the store, I saw that some of the panhandlers came into the store, stood in line, and were served the coffee of their choice.
I started thinking about why they chose to spends their sparse funds on the most expensive coffee on the block. There were plenty of other places where they could get a bargain cup of coffee. Why here? Why Starbucks? And that led me to ponder the brand. What did it stand for? Why was there always a line to buy this upscale coffee? Why do people continue to come back day after day?
My conclusion was that Starbucks offered an enviable experience – one that is enjoyed by every patron, rich or poor. Their sterling image and ubiquitous brand is held in high regard by almost everyone. It is a place to be seen. To buy there means that you are somebody – someone with a taste for the finer things in life. To sit in their lounges means that you are a person who has time, and money, to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Buying from Starbucks means that you have reached a level in life that is sought after and admired.
What makes people want to buy your brand? Are your clients willing to pay more for the privilege of having you work in their home? Are they proud beyond words to have your sign in their yard?
Look at brands that stand above the rest, like McDonald’s and Starbucks. What can you do to be more like them? How about being consistent with your message, steadfast with your management styles, honest in all your dealings? Making sure your clients have an enviable experience – one that they won’t find anywhere else, no matter how many copycats there are. Keep your offices clean and neat. Treat your employees with respect. Be on time. Deliver service that is beyond your client’s expectations. Empathize with your clients. Understand things from their point of view. Deliver quality, every time. Train your staff so that they carry out their tasks with consistency. Never forget to ask, “Leave room for cream?”.
I hope my little story inspires you to be a better brand. To be a brand that not only you are proud of, but your clients are proud of. To be the company that stands head and shoulders above the rest. One that, no matter who your clients are, they don’t mind paying a little more to work with the best.
Wishing you the best of fortune, Randall
This article was written by Randall S. Soules – Remodeling coach, adviser, and educator. You can reach him at Randall@scientificremodelingsystem.com. Explore his Scientific Remodeling System eCourse, where you’ll discover better ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, all through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to learn more about this eCourse, click here. He also offers one-on-one coaching that will take your remodeling business to new heights!
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