Last night we went to our favorite Indian restaurant and enjoyed a fabulous meal. My daughter-in-law ordered her usual chicken tikka masala and she made a very interesting comment after she had just a few bites.
She said, “The food tastes better when you eat in.”
Everyone agreed. However, we all knew that the food we take home from that restaurant is the very same food they serve when we eat in.
When I asked the group the question, “Why does the food taste better?” I received no-answer. Perhaps we don’t actually trust our taste buds when we are caught up in the emotional experience of eating our favorite foods!
This is not far off from the truth because the answer is in the experience.
The experience is a highly-important element of all products we consume because we are inspired through our experiences. The Indian decor, music, smells, wait staff, and of course the great food combined to provide a mini adventure in which our expectations were met and exceeded. All of these environmental factors are controlled by the restaurant. All were tuned in order to touch the four human emotional spaces as Neil Fiske and Michael Silverstein explain in their book Trading Up: questing, taking care of me, personal choices, and connecting.
All retail stores — from restaurants, department stores, supermarkets, price clubs, or even deep discounters — know that when you shop at their store, a unique emotional and inspirational experience is frequently the only thing that sets them apart from Amazon.com.
What is the lesson?
Professionally, if you are in retail store management or sales, you realize the importance of the in-store execution of your brand. However, in my opinion, this is the easier lesson. There is another, more important and more impactful, personal lesson we may learn: This very same pattern which works flawlessly in retail environments may also be applied powerfully in our personal interactions at work and at home. You see, all of us are selling something, whether it is success to our spouse and children at home or success to our associates at work.
The success of our families is directly related to the experiences we provide them. Our job is to guide them toward their purpose and help them become what they were meant to become. How are you doing?
What can we do to increase our effectiveness? We should realize that the actual experiences we create are the actual products we sell in all aspects of our life. Entirely? No. However, the emotional experience our family, associates, or customers receive from their interactions with us always make the food taste better, the project more enjoyable, or it makes family time a richer, more strengthening familial experience.
While very few of us may be in charge of a consumer-facing retail store environment, all of us are part of a family or workforce. Let us take advantage of what we observe in the retail environment and tune each of our personal interactions to guide our family and associates toward their purpose using the four human emotional spaces of questing (adventure), taking care of me (self-improvement), personal choices (expression) and connecting (friendships).
Remember, the product is the experience.