Building your business: Choose your strategy, give a free prize, choose the best customers

What do you sell with your product? Are you focused on convenience and price(McDonalds, Walmart) and the “experience” (Wegmans, Starbucks). This is the choice we make every day as we build our business and decide how to engage the people we want as customers. There is no right or wrong here but each carries with it a culture that must be respected to maintain success. So, if you are in charge of the strategic plan, make the choice. You must. It defines where you will invest.

How do you get the new customer engaged? What do you offer “Free” to get them to the table to start the conversation about what they value enough to invest in you? While Crackerjack® mix is good, I am guessing their differentiation is the “Free Inside.” How many children’s cereal has that as the enticement? Human nature does not change – It just matures and becomes a bit more skeptical. Overcome the skepticism.

Finally, do you treat all customers equal? If so, why? It is OK if you do, particularly if you are in the transactional model above. Based on the tenets of Value Pricing, you are probably better served by segmenting your customers by their interest in added features and services that support growth of the top line and the bottom line. For most of my career, we have focused on treating all customers fairly but not equally. Customer Inequality as a driver will help you find improved profitability in your business.

P.S. Please watch this – it is the message I walked away from Leadership Week with after interacting with Tom and Elaine Brady ( and the super humans from Wegmans as well as Richard. Please participate when asked!


Author: John

Business Executive with Marketing, Product, Sales and General Management Experience. Currently, consulting in areas of strategic marketing, pricing excellence, key account management, and market driven innovation. Love to read, ride my bike, swim, compete in tri's, pick/drink wine, meet with friends, live life.

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