Consider your cup of morning coffee. It takes about three cents worth of beans to make it at home. You pay a dollar or so to have it at your local diner. At Starbucks, you pay about two dollars to four dollars a cup. In 1998, Joseph Pines and James H. Gilmore, a couple of business gurus, published a landmark book, "The Experience Economy," asserting that Starbucks is so successful because it sells an experience.
Coffee is just a product. People are willing to pay Starbucks two dollars to four dollars for the experience of sitting in a trendy place with cool people and listening to "in" music. Pine and Gilmore convey that America is becoming an experience economy in which all successful businesses must sell an experience in an economy where we turn our businesses into theatrical stages for an experience to occur.
Theatrics? Stages? How does this apply to your business? Your office, store, company vehicles or salespeople are your stage to engineer the customer experience for your best customers. All you have to do is set the stage to create the experience that the customer is seeking. While this varies from industry to industry, from customer research and human psychology, we all know that best customers desire the experience of being significant, appreciated, liked and important.
A significant advantage of the franchisor-franchisee business model versus the corporately-owned model is the power of local ownership. While a franchisor provides the brand, systems and support to the franchisee, the franchisee has the opportunity and incentive to get involved in the local community and present a humanized image of ownership to local customers. This is a significant differentiator and a Trojan horse weakness of the corporately-owned competition. What can you do to accelerate your franchisees' successes and your corporate competition's demise?
Are you assisting your franchisees in doing all that they can to exploit the local ownership advantage, project approachability to their customers and make their customers feel significant, appreciated, liked and important? There are countless books written about human psychology and how to make someone feel important. It is truly important to understand why your franchisees' "best of the best" customers like your business on an emotional level. Once you can understand why they like you, all you have to do is play their emotional experience back to your customers on the stage that they...