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?