Random Ideas and Missed Opportunities

I don’t know about you, but my mind is always going.  It’s challenging to get to sleep most nights because my brain doesn’t have a “pause” button.  I’ve noticed lately that I daydream a lot in those hours before bed.  Sometimes it’s figuring out how I’d solve a crime in the novel I’m reading.  Or how I could have handled my child’s meltdown differently.  But often, it’s about random ideas (and I do mean random) and missed opportunities: 

Example of a random idea: If I were the head of marketing for IHOP, I’d create a campaign around how eating your pancakes tells something about your personality (do you chop them up and then pour the syrup on; do you eat one pancake at a time, or do you eat around the edges and save the buttery part for last ?)  People love hearing affirmations about their personality…and I guarantee you there’s a psychologist out there who can come up with a test to coincide with pancake eating.   In the end, IHOP could generate a lot of revenue with a low cost item and give customers something fun at the same time. 

Example of a missed opportunity: Last weekend, on a whim, I took my daughter to get her hair cut at Regis.   The pleasant scheduler told me it would run between $18 and $23, based on the stylists’ level of experience.  I quickly said it was well worth an extra $5 to get a more experienced person to cut her naturally curly hair.  During the time her hair was being cut, I watched six people check out…all happy with their new do’s.  And I noticed that every customer was asked if they needed any products (apparently, something they are counted on to push).   When the haircut was done and it was our turn to pay, our guy asked if we wanted any product, and I shared my “words of wisdom” for the day.  If they would offer customers who have just had their hair done a discount on product (like 25% off one or all products purchased right then), they’d be moving a lot of gel, mousse, and hairspray every day.  I’m no rocket scientist, but it doesn’t take one to know that catching people when they are already happy…and when you’ve just sweetened the deal for them within a limited window of time… is paydirt.  Selling slightly discounted products will always be better than selling No products.

Watching how other people look at the world around them has always been fascinating to me.  And often, thinking about ideas for other companies helps me come up with cool ideas for the world I work in. 

What random ideas or missed opportunities have you thought about lately?

9 thoughts on “Random Ideas and Missed Opportunities

    1. Hi Colleen,
      You ladies keep us on our toes with the amazing stories you all write. I’ll come up with new random thoughts and you continue writing and we’ll just keep adding hits to those bestseller lists!

    1. Hi Denise,

      Yes, these random thoughts do consume enough space to be considered a slight obsession. Everyone needs a hobby, right? 🙂

    1. Wow…see someone was thinking in the same “random” universe. Thanks for sharing this. Vegemite…the name IS scary 🙂

  1. Jennifer, these are great ideas — the win-wins for business and customer — and I’m impressed that these are your “random” thoughts. Entire marketing agencies might not come up with either one of these ideas. I’m with Colleen: Soooo glad you’re on our side!

    As for missed opportunities, I see lots of them as a homeschooler. AMF, the bowling folks, just started leagues during the weekdays for homeschool kids — makes sense, right? Who else can bowl on Tuesday at 1 pm? So they offer five bucks a game, including shoes. Like you said with Regis, it’s better than nobody bowling. And some weeks we pack the place.
    But there are huge areas of corporate America that have not caught on to the untapped homeschool market.
    Thanks for the engaging post. Glad you got a blog!!

    1. Hi Sibella,

      You are right–there aren’t enough companies tapping into the homeschool market. There are a million ways retailers could attract more business…museums offering “behind the scenes” tours to show artifact rotation and project management, bakeries offering classes on the mathematics required for baking, contract supply stores (like Home Depot) offering DIY classes for building a model bridge or a birhouse…ideas like this would build relationships and promote new business in their stores. It’s easy to have the ideas…harder still to find people passionate enough to make them happen.

  2. eating pancakes….intresting i did something like this with chocolates and personality…..i think i should post it now!!! thanks!!!

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