Mangia! Food for Your Small Business Soul

A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika.
—Dorothy Parker

Dear readers and friends, crowd around. Having you join our luncheon once again is like getting dessert before my martini. It might seem like overkill to Mrs. Parker, but today we’ll have dinner, too—come hungry! I’ve invited new friends and old to share their fresh perspectives today. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know them—leave them a comment, and come on back to share your thoughts around the Maximum Customer Experience Round Table!

Starter course: What do the Big Boys do when they need to re-examine… well, everything? If you’re Starbucks, experiencing the biggest dip of their long history, maybe you quietly start again. “It’s a way for Starbucks to RE-learn some of the personal touches it has lost due to making so many compromises in order to grow to over 16,000 locations in 40-plus countries around the world.” John Moore tells us more in Starbucks’ Petri Dish at Brand Autopsy.

Paul Williams’ Friendly Falafel is hot story of a simple delight—and it really does show what kind of loyalty a thoughtful Customer Experience can evoke. If your idea of “personal” service isn’t this personal, take a tip from Idea Sandbox and warm up.

I hope you saved room… At Pow! Right Between the Eyes, Andy Nulman serves up Food for Thought, a tale of truly Maximum Customer Experience. “It didn’t merely shatter expectations for a restaurant, it was one of my great life experiences, period.” You may never get to Alinea to have this experience yourself, but all through this post are the ideas we talk about here every day—written so you can start now to (as Andy puts it) make the world itself a better place for your own customers.

After such a feast, you’re ready for something simple, something comforting, something you remember fondly from your mother’s kitchen: let’s see What We Can Learn From Spam! Well, Drew McLellan isn’t actually going to go to that hammy place in this post about making your marketing messages memorable, but I did have a salty memory or two before I… got into the meat of the post.  😉  At Drew’s Marketing Minute, an unusual angle that might keep your emails and ads from getting canned!

A little of this coffee after our luncheon will wake you right up: “The surest way to fail is by conforming. If only 5% of people succeed, then ‘conformity,’ by definition, must be a synonym for failure.” Whether or not you agree with every word of Creative Espresso by Steve Sammartino at Start Up Blog, it’s an eye-popping visual that you won’t be able to stop thinking about.

Thanks, as always, for the pleasure of your company and your commentary. Let’s do lunch again soon.

Love ‘em? Hate ‘em? Learn something fantastic as you clicked around? Think I missed the best one of the week? Have your say in the comments—you know you want to!


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson

If you’re going to write, don’t pretend to write down. It’s going to be the best you can do, and it’s the fact that it’s the best you can do that kills you.
—Dorothy Parker


Last time, Mrs. Erickson and the Vision Circle (that’s you) entertained:

Today Only! There IS Such a Thing as a FREE Lunch

Craving dessert? Click here to see all the posts in the Round Table series, along with other great recommended reading from MCE!