When I first wrote about acting in the customer’s best interests three years ago, it was because this was the theme of a talk given by marketing expert Don Peppers at an international marketing conference. What Peppers says usually attracts a lot of attention. But listening to Peppers you may have easily got the impression this was some kind of new insight. In fact, the idea goes back to well before 1950.
There’s a great example in the classic film Miracle on 34th Street, made in 1947. The central character, Kris Kringle, lands a new job playing the role of Santa Claus in Macy’s department store, New York. Before starting out, he’s instructed by the store’s toy department manager to push the store’s own products to kids and parents.
But Kringle isn’t happy about this and directs one parent to a rival store where there’s a better deal. She is so impressed, she tells the store’s toy department manager, adding that she will now shop regularly in Macy’s. Kris later informs another customer that arch-rival Gimbels has better ice skates than Macy’s.
A surprising thing happens.
You can see how the story unfolds for yourself from about 18 minutes in, using this link. When you’ve watched this, have a think about how you might apply the lessons to your own business.