Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not dumb. Can milkshake.

I'm reading this book, The Milkshake Moment by Steven Little. It talks about challenging the status quo in order to move forward and grow. The term "Milkshake Moment" came from Little's experience with hotels that don't have milkshake in their beverage or desert menu, but have vanilla ice cream, milk and a blender in the kitchen.

When I was telling my friends about the origin of the milkshake moment, their initial reaction was "What a difficult customer." And yeah, that's true when you look at the process from the perspective of hotel management. We don't have milkshake, deal with it.

But, from the perspective of the screw-it,-just-do-it go-getter, when you've got all the right ingredients, isn't it just a matter of being creative in coming up with the results.

Like today, a sales manager approached me because an account he's handling was requesting for additional free goods from me, for an on-going promo activity. Natural mente, I ask for justification besides the fact that the free items were almost gone. As a brand manager, I need information such as offtake to compare sales versus the effectiveness of the promotion. We were giving away the items for free already, so with the freebie promo, I ought to be creating awareness and inducing sale of the items on shelf.

Sales manager comes bumbling back to me saying the account buyer refuses to release an offtake report, first saying its confidential then later saying they don't generate it until the end of the month. I say, who needs the frikkin' buyer? We've got disers of our own who are supposedly going around the various stores covered by the promo. They can get me a simple beginning-ending inventory count, and I'll assume offtake from there.

He had the right ingredients, but the box he was living in limited him from making the milkshake. I guess I did come across as the bad, difficult customer in our exchange of words, but at least I was able to show him that information can be gathered from different channels. When we were able to generate the diser report, we discover that, yes, free goods were almost up, but offtake of the actual items for sale was slow. Ergo, the promo being as effective as we'd have liked it to be, so giving away more items for free just buries me in additional costs. It was a very easy "No" for me after that, I wasn't giving any more free items to the account.

So getting the simple inventory report gave me all the right data I needed to make a sound decision. I might have come off as the hard customer in the process of our discussion but I couldn't care any less. There are so many creative ways to get information, to make something happen, to create out of nothing. But so few people see the opportunity, content with the walls and systems that trap them to a certain way of being.

I refuse to live that way. When are you joining the club?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Enough about me. Let's talk about you for a minute. :)