Tuesday, May 29, 2007

'The Secret' Explained

Connecting with your sense of humor is a sure path toward building a stronger business.

Savvy entrepreneurs will also realize the lessons of piggybacking on a trend. Enjoy! ;-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Using Observation to Increase Customer Loyalty

The staff at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel is famous for keenly serving and observing the influential in their restaurants, spa, and hotel rooms. The hotel keeps careful records on its guests' tastes, as well as what they spend there. The managing director, Mr. Kasikci, does his own research and has perfected his own branch of semiotics- interpreting signs of wealth and sophistication. For example, he says, a woman in good jewelery but poor clothes may have recently inherited wealth.

The distinctions can translate into the amount of pampering customers receive. For example, pillow cases at the hotel come in three tiers - no monogram, two-letter, or three-letter monograms of the guests' initials. Top dogs get 3 letter monograms, which are harder to use with multiple guests. The hotel also washes guests' cars and leaves Fiji water bottles in the cup holders.

Such attention results in greater customer loyalty and repeat business.

You can build a stronger business by taking a few extra steps to learn more about your customers and what they want and need; you'll be surprised at some of the simple, low-cost requests they make that can advance your relationship.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Curbing Child Obesity in One Town

In "As Child Obesity Surges, One Town Finds Way To Slim" in The Wall Street Journal explains one towns method of stopping child obesity. In hopes of curbing childhood obesity, Dr. Economos has developed a community-based obesity intervention in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Over the past five years, restaurants have switched to low fat milk and smaller portions; the school district has doubled the amount of fruit offered at lunch; and the town has repainted crosswalks, added bike trails and bike racks. At the schools, initially children opted not to purchase anything since the options were all healthy foods. Since the children were forced to go without a fatty or sugar-rich snack, more children began purchasing foods from the school cafeteria, which were all healthy options.

Instead of forcing children to go on a diet, the goal was to change their environment with small and inexpensive steps. During the 2003-2004 school year, Somerville children gained less weight then children in two nearby communities used as a control group, according to a report published in the medical journal Obesity.

When implementing change initiatives, think about ways to change the environment to support the behavior you're after and you'll build a stronger business with less effort.