Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Romance and theater and rubber chickens

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, talked about going a bit astray by concentrating too much on infinitesimal metrics.  "We were no longer delivering the qualitative romance and theater of what built the brand," Schultz said. "And business suffered as a result."
The quote is from David Novak's book "Taking People With You," which is subtitled "The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen."
Novak spoke in Louisville, Kentucky last week at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) annual conference.
He is the Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands. That may not mean much to you at first -  but it is the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
Novak is an outrageous marketer who had to convince others he was grounded enough for senior management positions at PepsiCo.  Once he had their trust, he broke through the walls of motivating his co-workers - mainly by speaking from the heart and tickling the funny bone.
Big on recognition, but down on conservative plaques, he enscribed rubber chickens and gave them to outstanding line workers at KFC.  Everyone cherished their "flat chickens."  At Pizza Hut, if you "walked the talk," you received an oversized set of walking, chattering teeth, also autographed by the head cheese.
So, while Starbucks embroiled itself in measuring liters-per-hour poured, Novak concentrated on making front line workers, store managers, delivery truck drivers and regional vice presidents connect to the company.
So - today's question: Have you built "romance and theater" into your brand?
By the way - Novak's book was in the hands of every Chamber executive in attendance.
Because he - and ACCE - gave it to us.
Not quite theatrical - but generosity is also a good start in building relationships!
  -- posted by Bruce R. Partain
Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce


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