Top of Mind Thursday – November 24, 2022: Thankful

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving holiday–a time to be thankful for all we have in our lives.

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Top of Mind Thursday – November 17, 2022: The Laws of Nature

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There’s a bit of panic in Silicon Valley these days. Tech companies from Meta/Facebook to Amazon to Twitter have announce large-scale layoffs–in some cases, for the first time in their history. Crypto is in freefall, with FTX declaring bankruptcy this past week.

Many younger members of the work force haven’t experienced a downturn like this, so it’s no surprise they’re alarmed. But those of us who have been around the block a few times understand that it’s called a business cycle, because nothing goes up for ever. What goes up has to eventually come back down.

But the word also cycle implies that we don’t stay stuck in the dumps forever, either. Downturns are a natural way to weed out those players that have expanded too quickly, or, like FTX, were built on an unsustainable value proposition.

I remember at one time Starbucks was adding locations so fast that there were literally Starbucks across the street from other Starbucks. The joke was there soon would be new Starbucks opening up inside the back of existing stores. Instead, they hit the brakes, retooled, and refocused on where they could be profitable–instead of focusing on growth as the only metric that mattered.

Once this downturn is over, we’ll still have Amazon and Facebook (though we may not all be in the Metaverse). Those companies that understand who their customers are and can show the value they provide will survive as stronger, albeit perhaps smaller, versions of themselves.

It’s the way the world works. I’ll bet a Grande Cappuccino on that.

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Top of Mind Thursday – November 10, 2022: Great Expectations

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It’s a well-known fact that in the US, the party not in power always regains a significant number of seats in Congress during mid-term elections.

It’s a well-known fact that in the US, the party not in power always regains a significant number of seats in Congress during mid-term elections.

That’s what the pollsters and pundits were predicting for the election held this week. Except it didn’t happen.

While we’re still waiting on the final results, it looks at this point like the Republicans will regain control of the house by a very thin margin, and the Democrats have a good chance of holding the Senate by an even slimmer one.

What happened? Depending on who you listen to this was because the candidate quality in many races was poor. Or people rejected many of the candidates who were still denying the results of the last election. Or many people thought the right to abortion was just as important an issue as the current economic situation. Or some other reason that will be posited soon.

Regardless of why this happened, because the Republicans had predicted a big Red Wave, they had high expectations for what they would be able to do in the next Congress. If the results play out as it looks now, Washington will be split down the middle and we face the possibility of paralysis and indecision for the next two years.

Of course, this could be an opportunity for moderates on both sides to come together, reach across the divide, and try to work together for the benefit of their constituents and the country as a whole.

But based on what we’ve seen over the last decade, that might be expecting too much.

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Top of Mind Thursday – November 4, 2022: Two Sides of the Same Pill

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Yesterday, when I walked into my local CVS to pick up a prescription, I found 7 people in line in front of me.

Immediately, my blood pressure went up. How long would this process take? How much time would I waste waiting, while the people behind the counter berated the customers about something or another related to their order? How many times would I hear excuses and arguments about why refills weren’t completed when promised?

Then I remembered I was at CVS and not Walgreens, where we’d had our prescriptions filled for years. It was at Walgreens that we’d suffered horrible customer experiences that bordered on the absurd. At one point, a clerk glared at us, pointed to a huge stack of paper and told us, “Your refill is somewhere in that stack. We’re not sure when we’ll ever get to it.”

We stuck with Walgreens much longer than we should have. Because they had all of our medical records. The store was open 24 hours. It just seemed easier to stick with the status quo. Until it wasn’t. Hours were cut. Other stores were closed–forcing more people into the queue at our local store. The pharmacy was understaffed and overworked. The staff was miserable and they took it out on the customers.

The other reason we stuck it out was in the back of my mind I thought, this must be the way pharmacies run in 2022, post-pandemic, Great Resignation and all that. Will anyone else be any better? But the “lost in the stack” incident, was the final straw.

I asked our doctors to start sending prescriptions to CVS and something strange happened. We went in the store and had a friendly experience. The lines were shorter–and they moved more quickly. The staff was friendly. If something was out of stock, they apologized–they didn’t argue.

The products we purchased were exactly the same. The experience could not have been more different. I no longer dread a trip to the drug store (some of my daughter’s meds need to be picked up in person, and can’t be handled through mail order).

Time in that line yesterday? Five minutes. Seven customers served in five minutes–all with courtesy and efficiency. Not only did the staff have smiles on their faces, when I left there was a smile on mine, too.


Check out our marketing thought leadership podcasts and the video trailer for my book, Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters.

Marketing Above the Noise.

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Let us help your business rise to the top.

linda@popky.com
(650) 281-4854
www.leverage2market.com

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