I have always loved live entertainment events. Concerts, comedians, music festivals; you name it. But, I have noticed an interesting shift over the past couple of years. I no longer have the patience for large venues. With the increasing quality of home entertainment systems and faster broadband pipelines, the entertainment decision is becoming harder. Do you go out for an event and endure skyrocketing ticket prices, challenging commutes and parking, standing in line, and crowded venues? Or, do you simply stay home and watch an event in HD with surround sound on the comfort of your living room couch? Read full article…Read More
I dropped in on Barefoot Coffee yesterday to enjoy one of their fabulous Cubanos and noticed they had remodeled. It still feels cozy there, but it lost a bit of its independent spirit. I’m going to miss their quirky chairs. But, they still pull a great espresso drink and they still create nice latte art. And that, with a number of other touches, make Barefoot one of those sanctuaries that you seek out when you want a great cup of coffee that doesn’t come from the faceless corporate chains. I have a similar experience in one of my favorite dark little coffee houses in NYC, Caffe Reggio (image in this post). The funny thing is, I will go considerably out of my way to visit these places, when I could simply grab a drink at a place like Starbucks. Easy enough, since there is one within every quarter-mile radius. Read full article…Read More
So many of us love a cup of coffee in our favorite cafe, but I don’t think many would call that a “transformational experience”. However, having a cup of coffee in a small cafe on the edge of the caldera at sunset in Santorini? Yes, a transformational experience that created a memory that I will never forget. What price do you put on such a cup of coffee?
The book “The Experience Economy” briefly mentions a key example that helps explain how a simple good can be economically transformed into an experience for which a customer is willing to pay one thousand times more. The following table outlines this transformation for the simple coffee bean. Read full article…Read More
Commoditization. It happens in every industry as it matures. As companies struggle to compete and differentiate themselves, they succumb to pricing pressure and feature wars. We’ve all seen it happen with both goods and services. And, we’ve seen it happen in the technology industry too. Software with even more features than the competitor with the requisite feature chart on the back of the box. Internet access pricing being driven down to almost “free” levels. Web hosting for absurdly low monthly fees with an ever-increasing set of available features.
So, what is a company to do? Well, some have spent time understanding their customers and what it is that creates loyalty. Those companies have learned that earning the loyalty of a customer goes way beyond offering the lowest prices or the most features. In fact, loyal customers will often spend more for less. As a very loyal customer of Apple Computer, I can attest to that. Why? Because we value the holistic experience of that brand and what it provides us. Read full article…Read More