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December 24, 2009


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There's another side to this coin, I think. Our sense of entitlement develops much faster than we might expect or wish to admit. You've probably seen this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk) of Conan Obrian and comedian Louis CK. A lot of truth to his comments. Once the sense of entitlement is there for whatever added benefit you're trying to provide, the value is diminished and the bar is raised. There's no going back, so choose your extra mile carefully.


Yes Merritt, that's a great point. The bonus extras we provide can quickly become entitlements. When I worked at Red Lobster, I once tested eliminating the free salads. Offering them was a rarity in the industry and it cost us millions. Many people never even ate them. Yet when we tested removing them, even when accompanied by lower prices, customers were outraged.

What would happen to Papa Johns is they eliminated the garlic dipping sauce? Or Cracker Jacks if they got rid of the toy inside? Or airlines if they dropped their frequent flier programs?

A baker's dozen can be a fine idea, but eliminate the 13th roll at your own peril.

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  • Bill Aho is a partner with SagePoint Consulting, which uses proprietary innovation processes to create products, services and concepts for businesses. SagePoint serves as an ongoing revenue-producing engine for companies, generating a steady stream of market-driven innovations that are financially attractive, operationally sound and built on strategic growth platforms.

Well Said

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