“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
I’ve never been handed a basket of lemons out of the blue and had to go find a way to make a sour drink out of them.
I prefer to be motivated in a harsher, more eye-opening way.
“When you have a product or service that sucks, admit it, then fix it.”
Makes more sense than some overused, worthless jumble about lemons doesn’t it?
It’s difficult for us to admit that a product or service we have is in need of repair. Often times we find ourselves admitting to it when it’s too late, when the damage has been so severe that a fix isn’t going to take.
Admitting defeat is hard to do, especially when it’s something that we created and have promoted with a great sense of pride. You may promote the “Best Customer Service” but when your customers have to wait 17-minutes to talk to a rep, you’re not the best. You may manufacture the “Best Box Cutter Ever” but if the blade breaks after the first use, are you really the best? You may claim “Super Fast Shipping” but when your warehouse can’t ship an order for 3 days how fast are you?
Being honest with yourself and your customers is paramount.
Domino’s pizza, the brunt of pizza jokes for decades because of their mass market tasting product, is a prime example of how to take on adversity head on. They took years of complaints complaints about a cardboard tasting crust, blah ingredients and crappy pizza and did something about it.
They went on TV and admitted their product sucked.
In the commercials introducing their new crust, sauce and cheese, they showed clips of people talking about how bad their pizza was. It was a very bold move for Domino’s. What if this unique form of marketing backfired?
Well it didn’t. They took on their harshest critics – their customers – and faced up to the fact that they did have a bad product. They gambled on the fact that this negative form of publicity would turn Domino’s haters into Domino’s lovers – and it worked.
I wasn’t a big fan of the “old” pizza, but I love the new recipe. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely not Luigi’s down the street, but it is a much better product than they had before.
Building off the success of their relaunched pizza, Domino’s embarked on a new challenge – their chicken. Using the same advertising concept as before, negativity towards their chicken forced them into redoing their boneless and traditional chicken wing offerings. Will this be as successful as their pizza relaunch? The verdict is still out on this one. I’ve never been a fan of their wings, and after trying the new version… they’re still rubbery and look like they’re from a pigeon rather than a chicken.
Owning up to inadequacies in your business is a key step in making sure you’re always on top of your game. But owning up is just step one…. step two involves fixing them. After all, you can’t make lemonade if you don’t squeeze a lemon.