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Want More Customers? Stop Focusing on Your Products

The new logo, he says, “is about showing a face to the world that is inclusive and relevant no matter what your culture.” Besides which, “my mother loves it and she’s always right about everything…which reminds me, I need to call her.” Such humour is part of Mr. Caplansky’s schtick and the new outlets will capitalize on it, with floor tiles trumpeting “call your mother” and “pick up a check once in a while.” Says Mr. Caplansky: “The whole store is built for .”


Among the usual culprits of the rise of online shopping, consumers having less spending money, and new technologies disrupting the retail industry, there is another issue to be found here.


The millennial is a tricky creature, for sure. While previous generations have emphasized buying things as part of their luxurious experiences, millennials seem to be far more interested in buying experiences.


You can thank for that. If a purchase doesn’t translate into something they can share with their friends on Instagram or Snapchat, most people simply won’t even bother buying it.


We can spend our time debating about whether that’s even a healthy mindset or not, and if constantly oversharing our lives is contributing to the slow decline of our society…


But, it does mean that traditional retail as we know it is dead. The businesses that succeed are going to be the ones that offer unique, shareable customer experiences.


Chick-Fil-A, a fairly popular fast food chain based in the US, recently made headlines for one of their promotional offers. One that solved a growing a problem for families in America.


Research has shown that using your phone while you eat “leaves you incapable of fully enjoying the food, damages romantic relationships, and contributes to feelings of depression when you’re being snubbed by your partner.”


To help solve this issue, Chick-Fil-A designed the “Cell Phone Coop Family Challenge”. Simply place your phone on silent and inside the ‘coop’ for the duration of the meal, and receive free ice cream as a reward. (and the company of the people around you, of course)


The fast food industry is one of the most competitive around and is extremely difficult to get any attention, making this campaign all the more impressive.


A local smoked meat favorite in Toronto, Caplansky’s Deli is launching a new franchising program aimed at expanding their “fast-casual” concept across Canada.


There is nothing unique about fried chicken or smoked meat sandwiches. Granted, in order for these companies to have gotten this far, they had to have a product worth selling.


That feeling of discovering a band before they hit it big, or finding a hole-in-the-wall diner with the greatest waffles you’ve ever had, or uncovering a hidden gem on Netflix. That is the kind of experience this generation wants from their purchases.


I like making websites and writing things in various corners of the internet. I am the owner of RapidWebLaunch, and write about my entrepreneurial experiences and lessons I’ve learned on my blog. You can find some of my other writings over on Medium. Work to live, not… View full profile ›


Popular with millennials, fast-casual is the segment of the market “where the greatest levels of growth are being experienced,” says retail futurist Doug Stephens of Retail Prophet. “That in itself represents an opportunity for Caplansky’s.”



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