Black Friday Redux & Post-Christmas Musings

Stuck in Traffic

The lead story at every news break today was that Black Friday was back… this time for real as retailers braced for a flood of returns the day after Christmas.

Talk about dedicated and loyal customers… and the stores’ response?

The airwaves were full of marketing messages… well, it was really just the same old message, repeated by everyone:



Uhh, do I hear 70% off?

Why yes, Burlington Coat Factory actually advertised 80% off.

Apparently top line reporting means more to some businesses than actual bottom line earnings.


I heard last week that GM loses about $1500 every time they sell a car. Now, as small business owners and entrepreneurs we would tolerate that for about a day and a half.

If you or I were losing $1500 every time we sold a product the response would be to stop selling, and fix our products or processes.

What is the auto industry response?

Well of course… cut prices… decrease revenue per car… so they can sell more units… at an even bigger loss!

Take an additional $4200 cash back… not enough, how about $7000…?

I think the 2009 Escalade has now been reduced $12000. That will get them out of the hole.

The truth is that only someone who is planning to be bailed out by someone else could conceive of operating their organization in this fashion.

Your business… my business… isn’t part of a bail out… and we wouldn’t want it any other way.


Here’s a losing marketing formula:

No differentiation = no unique customer experience = no relationship = no loyalty = a business left to beg and compete on price.

The same big retailers who have watered down their message and stripped the Christmas shopping experience to a generic shell of what we all grew up with, are now complaining about soft Christmas sales, and pleading with us on the basis of price to patronize their stores.

Sorry… wrong message.

More and more I opt for an online shopping experience from the comfort of my home, customized by my own Christmas decorations, lights, and music. Not to mention the awesome aroma coming from fresh baked cookies in the kitchen!

Wait a minute… that did it… I’ll be right back…


Ahhh… but I digress.

I read today that Amazon’s sales volume set all time records over the past few weeks, posting their “best season ever.”

Seems there must have been a few others eating fresh baked cookies right out of the oven and enjoying web-based crowd avoidance in a traditional Christmas atmosphere.

And the real benefit was that this was the least stressful week we had since, well… last week.

The entire Christmas season… no lost sleep, no fighting over parking spots, no pushing the cart thru eight inches of snow and slush… just point, click, delivered… thank you.

As we begin to turn our eyes to the new year, I wish you incredible success and look forward to speaking with you soon.



In an effort to appeal to everyone, we run the risk of fully pleasing no one.

Many businesses lose everything when they play the low price game.

Define your ideal customer… your niche; then give them what they want, how they want, and when they want.


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