But first, a word from a 10-year-old.

Why y’all got it wrong, by The Kid.*

McDonald’s is the most distinctive company around. I don’t like their food except for breakfast. Many other people don’t like their food either. But people eat there, and it’s almost always a line. You can’t eat cheaper any place. Not even at the grocery store! They’re always in your face with ads. Lots of kids just want the toys, and some kids don’t know good food taste from bad.

I don’t think it’s about liking the food. That’s pretty distinctive for a restaurant, isn’t it?

Lots of people just want fast because they’re tired and hungry now.

I think that’s what it’s about. Tired and hungry now. They’re not a little company, like you like to work with, Mama, but they are the only ones like that. When we’re in the car with people, thinking about eating in a hurry, people always say, “You want McDonald’s? Or there’s a couple of other fast food places on this road….”

Every other fast food place—is just an “other fast food place.” They’re McDonald’s.

Wow. You really thought about that.

I want to win the book!

But we own the book already. And you’re related to me. I’m prejudiced.

Okay, but can I still tell people that McDonald’s is my answer?

Yeah, kiddo. You can tell ‘em. 🙂

*From the mouths of babes, part 5. If you’re new to Maximum Customer Experience, (hello!), my daughter occasionally makes an appearance. Click the highlighted links to read her other really wild insights: on management, on customer service, on discounts, and on public speaking.

Why y’all got it right, by Kelly

First off, thanks very much for participating, if you had a chance to come by and promote a business in your area that you find distinctive, and thanks again to Scott McKain for giving me the idea, with his new book, Collapse of Distinction.

I loved all the entries from Tuesday’s book review and contest. Your ideas of what makes a company distinctive make a great set of tips for your own business, including:

  • (Provide delight) Everyone who works there seems to want to invite you to the party of discovery. —Janice Cartier
  • (Focus) They do not have everything that you can get at the grocery store… but stick to the food experience. —Karen Swim
  • (Think locally) I’m sure there are probably stores like that [elsewhere] but it is pretty unique considering how small things are around here. —Brett Legree
  • (Details) The dog is probably 50% of the reason I keep coming back. —The Deep Friar
  • (Looks count!) The architecture makes it feel like Paris but on a manageable scale. —Alex Fayle
  • (Word-of-mouth) Everyone knows about it, and it is the first place anyone will tell you that you *have* to go to when you’re here. —Graham Strong
  • (People buy from people, not companies) As a customer I only care about how I am treated and how my needs are taken care of. —Charlene Burke

*sigh* I had to choose just one, and Karen Swim’s description of Randazzo Fresh Market, the local grocer bucking the mass-appeal trends in her area of Michigan, grabbed me. To zig when everyone else is zagging is a brave choice—instant distinctiveness, for better or for worse—and if you’ve looked into the right crystal ball and found a market that was dying to be served, it’s a great way to get your fans raving about you. Like Karen. Hats off for your great description of Randazzo, Karen, I’ll be emailing you shortly!

Dear reader, let’s keep looking for companies and qualities that create Maximum Customer Experience together, and let’s keep making it fun! Thanks, as always, for being a part of our MCE community.


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson