Posts tagged “tucson”

Thank you for voting

Thank you for voting, Green Valley, AZ, January 2009

An interesting way to toot one’s own horn. This sign in Papa Murphy’s prominently yet graciously thanks us for voting for them as BEST PIZZA CHAIN in America. To paraphrase Monty Python, I didn’t vote for them. Did you? In fact, a little investigation reveals that this was a customer satisfaction and preference survey by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine. A survey is not an election. No one voted for anything.

R&I’s Consumers’ Choice in Chains survey respondents are a representative sample of U.S. consumers weighted to match the population by age, gender, household income, ethnicity and region. In all, 3,132 adults provided data about their awareness and patronage of more than 200 of the largest U.S. chains. These brands were selected for inclusion based on rankings in R&I’s 2007 Top 400 Chains list. The margin of error for this data is +/- 2%.
To gauge customer loyalty, respondents who patronized a chain in the past year are asked whether they intend to return. In addition, guest satisfaction on eight attributes is measured through customers’ ratings of each chain they patronized. To derive overall scores, performance on the attributes is weighted according to the category. This is done using separate ratings that consumers provide to indicate the importance of each attribute in selecting a restaurant in a given category. The weighted overall score can be used to compare chain performance across segments.

I applaud Papa Murphy for trying to induce a sense of participation in their patrons, reframing an external assessment as something that we can feel some involvement in, thereby sharing in their success. But the fact that the claim doesn’t stand up to just a little bit of scrutiny reveals them to be a little bit dishonest. Almost, but not quite.

See previously: Local Starbucks exhibits passion for their customers

Wipe out

Many years ago we worked with a client who wanted to help people with “out-of-home personal cleansing.” It was surprising in our interviews to learn that some people worried about the germs left behind on a shopping cart handle. Then last year at a high-end grocery store in Tucson I saw this:
A dispenser for cart wipes. Finally a product that addresses the anxiety, if not removing it.

[Recently some students in our Design Research class at CCA came up with some stats around this same issue that I can’t remember, but they were disturbing/gross – the handle was the dirtiest item we’d touch in a typical week??]

Last week I was in my local Safeway and saw this pathetic effort:
Safeway has shifted the problem definition, allowing you to clean your hands instead of the cart? If the cart is dirty, what do you get out of cleaning your hands before you shop? Maybe a hand wipe on the way out, after you return your cart? But still, if the cart is (seen as) dirty, then clean the cart.

They’ve put it right in the entranceway in a location that is filled with other things that people need to access (drinking fountains, DVD vending machine, bubble gum, hallway to restroom). And really, the whole thing is poorly executed: it’s all about the poster; with little focus on the thing you need to grab – the wrong-sized wipe dispenser and then it’s finished off with the inappropriate, ugly, exposed garbage bin.

Maybe it was a prototype to see how people used it, but I think they’ve created something so pathetic and so much about failure (theirs, and your own) that the results wouldn’t be worth too much to me.


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