Cookies and the key to success in retail

Dec. 19, 2012 | by Doug Stephens

For the holidays I took my friends, clients and business colleagues cookies. I bought them from a small coffee house and bakery in Toronto called Le Gourmand — who are (as I learned) renowned for making the best cookies in the city. And they certainly lived up to that reputation. Within hours of delivering them (and that is no exaggeration) I was getting emails and messages like these:

“I have just finished the best cookie I think I’ve ever eaten in my life!!”

“Some of our crew members were wondering where you got the cookies that you brought in last night. They were REALLY good! Where did you find them — or did you make them?”

“Thanks so much for the INCREDIBLE cookies. Wow. Out of this world.”

Even my daughter who took some cookies to friends later that day was receiving the same sorts of questions. Here’s her message to me….

Over and over, people raved about these cookies. No one asked if there were cheaper cookies somewhere else. No one was scrounging for coupons or discounts. No one compared them to something from a box in a grocery store. Price and inconvenience were no barrier to people’s desire for these cookies! They were just mind-blowingly awesome.

And herein lies an important lesson for all businesses…

In a hyper-connected, data driven world where the consumer has every one of your competitors at their fingertips, there’s a new and daunting reality; a sickening imperative that most businesses either cannot or will not allow themselves to embrace. It’s this: The days of making an inferior product and managing to live off the excess demand in the marketplace are over! The era of pushing mediocre products by buying more ad words, intrusive advertising or fallacious promotion than your competitor are coming to an end too.

No matter what you sell or whom you sell it to, there’s only one way to win. You need to get up everyday and make the best cookies in the city. The rest will look after itself.

Topics: Consumer Behavior , Customer Service , Marketing

Doug Stephens / Retail futurist, Doug Stephens is an in-demand speaker for private and public sector audiences across North America on the mega-trends shaping a new era of retailing and consumerism. His thinking has influenced many of North America's best-known brands. Doug is a regular guest expert on the CTV television series App Central TV and media contact on trends in the retail landscape.
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