March 17, 2006
All the stuff I would have liked to write about, Part II
I came across the idea last year of using the occasion of the new year to clean the slate and publish all the notes contained in draft posts. In fact, there was so much stuff hanging around in draft form that I couldn't get a summary post out in a timely fashion - hence part II. ;-)
How Loyalty Cards Can Cost You Sales
Loyalty programs are generally engineered to reward your best customers and to reap the benefits of tracking their activity. However, some retailers have done too good a job of selling the benefits of their program.
There's no question in my mind that having the card influences my buying decisions – although I probably would buy almost as many books without it, I have definitely picked up titles because of members' only promotions in the store. However, the flipside is also true - I'm much less likely to pick up books that don't have a hefty members' promotion.
And that sense of entitlement can damage the relationship altogether: I tend to buy books in batches, and in a quick tour through the store had about $150 worth when I went to the counter. As usual, I'd forgotten my loyalty card at home, but in the past cashiers had always looked it up for me. This time, however, I was informed that the store had instituted a policy of not doing so anymore. I abandoned my purchase and left because I felt cheated out of my discount. To make matters worse, I found out from another location that the policy was not chain-wide, but simply the decision of the specific store's manager.
Big Egos Are Good For Business
Being full of yourself is good for business, according to researchers at the University of Maryland. BusinessWeek interviewed Brian Wu about how Ego Makes Entrepreneurs? The key point in this is that entrepreneurs see risk differently than most people - if something is dependent on your own abilities, then the risk is simply in your own ability to execute, and having an inflated sense of your own ability allows you to overcome risk aversion.
I think there's a related issue here too - entrepreneurs deal with a constant stream of negativity. Mention to someone that you're starting a business, and they'll quote stats about how many businesses fail, express their doubts about the market potential for your idea, and generally try to convince you that you're crazy. Having a strong ego helps to get you through all of that.
Logo Development Process
This article on creating a business logo provides great insight into the communication process between designer and client.
The Dunbar Number
Christopher Allen tackles a popular misconception about the Dunbar number being the average size of of a successful community, when it is actually posited as the maximum size. There are a bunch of good examples in the article, along with some cool charts and graphs.
Most importantly, there's some thoughts on the effect that group size has on company effectiveness, especially the pain that comes with growth. I've deliberately set out to keep my business at a small size precisely because I want things to stay personal.
Posted by kenking at March 17, 2006 9:33 AM