Posts Tagged ‘serendipity’

Investing To Win

Friday, May 18th, 2018

In a momentous week for sports betting and gaming companies in the United States and UK,  there is a lesson for all of us. Quit whining about events largely out of our control that go against us (legislative changes) and maximise our investment in innovation and readiness for events that go for us.

© James Berkeley 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Serendipity Leicester’s Friend

Friday, April 29th, 2016

The great thing with success that seemingly arrives from nowhere, is how it has this affect of forcing you to dive deep into your memory to try to make sense out of a sequence of visual images and serendipity. Yet you are none the wiser when you stop thinking about it. On the eve of Leicester City, let me say it once more, Leicester City, being crowned Premier League champions, as someone who was born in Leicester, it is just nonsensical. 5000/1 was probably mean, bookies are not in the business of being generous.

Yes the older locals would talk to an 8 year old kid about the sides of the sixties and the near misses. The 70s team had their moments. Watching Leicester’s own “George Best”, moustachioed striker Frank Worthington, clad in black leather jacket, loud shirt, and a host of gold rings and necklaces take his seat with the routine blonde in hot pants at the local circus. More Dirk Diggler. Keith Weller, a talented midfielder, who did more to promote Leicester’s hosiery industry, wearing a fetching pair of white tights on an icy day in January 1979. The 90s under genial manager, Martin O’Neill, securing a League Cup but in truth, every response before and since to where do you think the City will finish this season has been tinged with pessimism. Indeed, even the most ardent fan this year has sensed a potential collapse is around the corner, until now.

With bookmakers offering no higher than 1/20, it is going to happen. There is no logic too it but why worry, when serendipity strikes we just have to make the most of the moment. Unless of course, it happens again next year…..

© James Berkeley 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Enabling The Customer To Buy

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Three experiences in the course of a rain-sodden quiet January week in London: a midday stop by the flagship Apple store on Regent Street.

Me: “Good morning, I would like to talk to someone about buying an Apple iPad Air.”

Front-of-House sales person: “I am sorry we don’t have anyone available right now.”

Me: “What are my options? There don’t appear to be many people here (30 customers max).

Front-of-House sales person: “You must make a reservation in my system (scroll through his iPad, wait 1 minute). I can offer you a time slot at 4:15pm (now 10:30am) or we can perhaps find a date later in the week.”

Me: “Sorry, neither is convenient, nor am I in the area. I will leave it.” £0 expenditure, repeat business or referral potential “low”.

A few minutes later a request to a sales person at the flagship Ralph Lauren store in Mayfair to exchange a £250 sweater given as a gift to me and purchased by a family member in Hong Kong (they have a worldwide refund policy). “I am sorry sir if we cannot identify the bar code as coming from our store I am not at liberty to accede to your request.” Me: “Why does that preclude you not adhering to your brand’s customer promise?” Sales person, “Urgh, that’s the way it is, sir.” £0 expenditure, repeat business or referral potential “low”.

A call to the very welcoming Cotswold country inn, The King’s Head in the picturesque village of Bledington. A request for a family room at short notice for this weekend and dinner in their great restaurant. “Sir, we are fully booked this weekend both in the hotel and restaurant. However we know you have have been a frequent guest. Give me 15 minutes and let me see if I can do something. Would you be available should I contact you? (Yes) I have your details in front of me, would you prefer we call you back or send you a quick email? (Call) If we can accommodate you, do you have a preference over which room you would like, and a time to eat (Yes)?” 10 minutes later: “I have good news. I have you your preferred room, and a table for dinner both nights.” We arrive at the hotel and there is a personalised note on the bed from the Manager, “Welcome to the King’s Head. We are delighted to help you out at short notice, we really enjoy having you as a guest.” Weekend expenditure £450, repeat business and referral potential “high”.

These are three very common experiences for upscale expenditure in England today. Many large, famous and global brands in an effort to maximise efficiency and profitability are increasingly forcing the customer to conform to their policies. They are consciously “blind” to what the customer’s obvious need is. Their front line people lack the authority to apply common sense. Smaller, arguably hungrier and more entrepreneurial  businesses recognise that

  • Upscale and luxury customer buying decisions are increasingly “unstructured”
  • Cash and repeat business is being directed towards businesses that make it easy for the customer to say “yes” (multiple options to buy)
  • Speed is as important as the quality of the response
  • Converting credibility and interest into immediate sales and repeat business necessitates putting the customer’s interests before their own

In search of profitable growth, is your business in the Apple, Ralph Lauren or the King’s Head mode of customer service? What changes in behaviours and skills are needed to achieve your business goals?

© James Berkeley 2014. All Rights Reserved.



What Does the Fox Say?: Speed Not Perfection Key to Profitable Growth

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

The Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis have created the biggest viral internet hit since Gangnam Style. 200 million hits on YouTube, a comedy show with little recognition outside Norway is now the source for children’s books, a hit record, a recording deal with Warner Music and global distribution of their shows to remote corners of the planet. Brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåker, collectively known as Ylvis, dancing around a forest in fox suits are now the ones laughing at us!

There are some important lessons in this madness for those tasked with profitably growing a business. Customers perception of your product or service can sometimes dramatically exceed your own. Serendipity supercedes the most conscientious business plans. Without sound strategic implementation skills, you achieve nothing. When Lady Luck bestows good fortune you must be able to move with speed, have ready access to capacity (capital, physical and human resources) and the self-confidence to grasp the opportunity.

The Cow goes “moo”, Frog goes “croak”And the elephant goes “toot”. Are you ready to go “ker-ching” when you hear the “ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding” of opportunity?