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Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's Time to Elf Yourself!

This is it. We're down to the wire. If you have everything taken care of, then congratulations! And, if you don't, then forget the worrying and just enjoy all that you have accomplished! Enjoy family, friends and good cheer and focus on getting into the holiday spirit...

In case you need some help, though, I invite you to 'elf yourself' and get dancing. Let me be your inspiration - as you can see here . What do you think? Not bad for a seasonal elf gig, right? [Thanks go to John Winsor for this wonderful idea from his post titled Have a Viral Christmas.]

But, that's really nothing when you consider what the Top Elf - Santa - does to make all of this Christmas stuff happen. Consider this Forbes.com article from 11/29/2006 titled For a Better Brand, Think Like Santa by Mike Matheis. [The slideshow is worth watching, too.] It hits on quite a few universal points that all of us should take to heart....

Take brand loyalty. Positive loyalty towards us, our brand, our store, can only occur if we consistently deliver of the promise we make to our consumers. They have expectations about us. We must - day in and day out - meet their expectations around our retail experience, our brand positioning, our communications, our attitude.... Santa builds "the expectation of an experience through consistent images and behaviors." How consistent are your images and behaviors?

Or human resources! Santa is only as good as his elf labor pool and "pays close attention to human resources practices and policies to retain top talent." He has created a "work environment that fosters a sense of community while engaging employees with training and opportunities to develop professionally." What about your employees? Are they totally engaged in your business and committed to delivering the best possible experience to your customers? If you're not sure, consider this article by Lewis Green on MarketingProfs: DailyFix titled What Really Drives Brand Success.

Customer knowledge. That's a biggy! Both Jack Mitchell [see Ruthless Focus on the Consumer] and Paco Underhill [see Paco Sightings... and Rubber Soled Shoes] preach the criticality of knowing everything there is to know about customers. Have you identified which customers you can consistently delight, and which ones you cannot? How well do you understand your "good" customers' needs and desires? And what are you doing about those not-so-good customers?

Local vs. global. Another Paco area of opportunity. "Some things about Santa are customized to local preferences... But other aspects of Santa are universal." How well do you connect with your local constituents while offering them global products, services and standards?

Passion. To delight, to deliver, to inspire, to exude goodwill and cheer, and to not disappoint! Absolutely!

Happy, Happy Holidays! From this elf here at Flooring The Consumer and from all of us at Wear-Dated, best wishes for this holiday season!

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