Best Buy Is On My Mind

I’ve been thinking a lot about Best Buy lately; for a number of different reasons. First of all, the recent announcement that Brad Anderson will be retiring as CEO and replaced by Brian Dunn caught my eye. I’ve been thinking about writing a note to Dunn (in my blog) with my recommendations. Look out for that in a future post.

Next, we just got word that Best Buy’s CMO (Barry Judge) has agreed to speak at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum in June. It should be a great event because we already have some wonderful speakers including USAA’s COO and CIGNA’s Customer Experience Officer. Sohrab Vossoughi, design visionary and founder/CEO of Ziba Design will also be speaking. And I’ll be kicking it off with an opening keynote. Keep an eye on the agenda as we continue to plan content for the event.

Finally, I just bought a flat screen TV from Best Buy. It was a very positive experience. The sales person in Dedham, MA was great (here’s a shout out to Juan Julian Purdy). He was knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. It’s not done yet, so I may add another post after the TV is delivered and installed.

The bottom line: I’m (currently) feeling good about Best Buy.

Authenticity Is (Unfortunately) A Novel Idea

I don’t think that anyone would promote being fake as a good strategy. Yet, many firms end up trying to convince customers that they’re something that they just aren’t (see JetBlue’s “Happy Jetting” Is More Than Empty Promises). So I really enjoyed an article in Business Week by Sohrab Vossoughi (Founder of Ziba Design) called How to Stand Out? Try Authenticity.

Vossoughi hit the nail on the head with this statement:

A single, beautifully designed product is nothing more than a beautiful object without the focused intent of a company that has taken the time to understand three things: the deep-seated desires of its customers, its own DNA, and the sweet spot where the two overlap.

The article looks at the unique culture of Umpqua Bank (who I recently interviewed for my research on customer-centric DNA),  the transparency in Starbucks’ comeback attempt, and the consumer relationships forged by Anthropologie.

My take: The article is completely aligned with my concept of Experience-Based Differentiation, so my only real comment is: read it.

The bottom line: You can’t fake customers into believeing that you’re authentic.

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