Sunday, December 11, 2005

With My Buzzoodle Eye

Why does every place suddenly suck? - Warning - I am usually very positive, but this is going to be a long rant on a mall trip. Holidays are fast approaching and I have started shopping in lots of places I rarely enter though out the other eleven months. The difference this year is that I have grown from an IT person doing marketing to a person immersed in the Buzzoodle Philosophy of Marketing. We were at the mall yesterday and it was shocking and upsetting for me. We mostly went to get a picture of our new baby and our daughter with Santa, but there was no chance of me spending $35 dollars for a picture of my kids on the lap of a 17 year old with a few cotton balls on his face. It was like the company did not even try. They must feel that people don't have any other choice, so it does not matter. (We skipped it.) Next, I was in a store like a Build - A - Bear. It was a cheap knock off of the real thing, and the woman working in the store sat behind the counter reading a book. ??? Isn't it two weeks before Christmas? She did look up and say hi, and smiled. They had an employ party area in the back. If I owned this business, I would have free cookies and punch in that party area all day every day in December. I would have 2-3 employees standing in front of the store telling kids go go join the party and get cookies. The kids are the sales staff, you just need to get more kids in there. The store also completely missed the point. I have been to Build-A-Bear and it is about the experience. This other place just had unstuffed toys you could stuff. ??? My daughter asked for one and I told her I would rather drive her 45 minutes to a real Build-a-bear so she could have the experience. Then we are walking through the mall, and I am dressed nicely on a Saturday because our older daughter just performed in a piano recital, and I see a woman working a register at a kiosk. She has a huge tattoo on her arm and it is exposed from the shoulder to the elbow. You cannot miss it. (I could care less about the tattoo itself, and it is up to each owner to set policies in place on this kind of thing.) I looked at her tattoo and then looked up at her. She noticed me notice, and glared! I was not passing judgment. I just looked at her huge tattoo for a second. So there I was walking through the mall with my family having someone glare angrily at me and try to stare me down. Time spend in mall: 1.5 hours Money spent in mall $2 on carousel We are ordering our gifts online today. In the world of business and commerce, blame can only be placed at the owner's level. You have to train people, inspire people, set standards and not assume that getting the store set up is what will make it successful.