No hill for a climber

You're trying to shop for a customer who gets almost everything she wants, when she wants it - and you're just hoping that what you pick out will please her come Christmas-time, some seven months away.

Yale Youngblood

Consider, if you will, the following scenario: Your customer awakens to an alarm clock that goes off automatically, exactly at a time that was predetermined the previous evening.

She’s still tired when the alarm sounds (today she’s opting for Light Rock over buzz), so she hits a button on the clock that grants her nine more minutes of restful slumber. Nine minutes become 18. Then 27. When she finally arises, she decides to take a shower.

She turns the handle that regulates the water temperature to a certain spot, and instantly the stream flowing from the showerhead is Goldilocks perfect—not too hot, not too cold, just right.

After her shower, she gets dressed and turns on the television—but decides she doesn’t like the program. With a push of a button, she is transported elsewhere in the world. With another button push, she is moved again. One more “click” and she’s resituated once more, even though, literally, the only moves she has made are the ones used to put on the clothes she laid out for herself the previous evening. Twice. You see, her husband, when asked his opinion regarding the red outfit vs. the blue one, chose the former, thus rendering the latter the obviously correct answer.

WHAT’S BREWING? Also during the night before she programmed her coffee maker to finish percolating at precisely ... three, two, one ... this second, so she takes a cup out of the cupboard and fills it with her favorite imported java, which she ordered over the Internet in less than a minute and received in less than two days.

Today, after her coffee, she will use keyless entry to unlock her vehicle; then, after backing from the driveway with the assistance of a rear-view camera, she will turn on an electronic navigation system that will tell her precisely when and where to turn to arrive at ... wherever.

Before her day is done, “wherever” will include three retail venues, each of which was actually chosen several days prior, as she checked e-mail and discovered, thanks to personalized missives from the stores, that new shipments had arrived and that her size/style/tastes would be accounted for the second she walks in the door.

AND, YOU? You’re making your way up and down the trade show aisles this month, trying to “shop” for this customer, the person who gets almost everything she wants, when she wants it—and you’re just hoping that what you pick out will please her come Christmas-time, some seven months away.

And to think, you went into this business because you love plants.


June 2011
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