Leveraging the elections

Friday, June 28th, 2013 | by Michael Keesee | Comments

kThe US elections are over. However, Becky is still a bit tizzy with all the free publicity she received because of the elections.

Becky owns an steakhouse.   About 2 months before the elections, Becky starts a contest at her restaurant that generates some free publicity for her.

All diners are given a choice of 2 ketchups they can use with their meals: The Heinz or the W ketchup. John Kerry’s wife, Tereza Heinz Kerry is the heiress of the company that makes Heinz ketchup. While W ketchup is made by a republican supporter who didn’t want to eat the Heinz ketchup and support the democrats. › Continue reading

The telemarketing experiment

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 | by Michael Keesee | Comments

tmD. H. is a consumer researcher. He conducts an experiment on telemarketing that is quite noteworthy.  Callers call residents in a neighbourhood and ask if they would allow a representative  to their homes to sell them cookies. All the residents are told over the phone that proceeds from the sale of cookies would go towards the supply of meals for the needy.

This standard solicitation approach generates a mere 18% agreement. 18 out of 100 people agree to see a representative at their homes.

D. H. then tweaks the telemarketing script a bit. › Continue reading

Starting with a Bang!

Friday, February 8th, 2013 | by Michael Keesee | Comments


Here is a story about a fast growing restaurant chain.  They grew to over 400 restaurants in 20 short years. Over the years, they have fine-tuned a system that makes sure that they generate a lot of buzz before they open for business in a new town. They make sure that they are a success even before they open up.

How do they do that?

Some time before opening, This restaurant will join the Chamber of Commerce in the town. By being a member, they gain access to all the other members. Then, they send a note to all the members of the Chamber of Commerce, inviting them to come for a free meal before it opens up to the rest of the town.

Many of these members, who are business owners and have a good standing in the community, show up for the free meal. It almost becomes like a Chambers get together. The restaurant does its best in impressing these businessmen and women. They provide great food and a terrific service. And they create a festive mood by decorating the restaurant.

As a result, the night makes a killer impression and gets the whole town talking about the new restaurant. It become a hit restaurant in the new town even before they open up for business.

Action Summary:

°    Give away samples of your product freely to generate a buzz. It’s worth one night’s worth of free food to create a buzz.

°    Reach the influential people of the society. Impress people who are well respected in the society, or are well respected in their field of business, and word about your products will spread.

°    Gather people to an event and give them a memorable day, and they’ll become loyal to you.

Competing with Cheaper Copycats

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 | by Michael Keesee | Comments


Henry drops out of college in September 2002 to start his own video-editing company. To buy equipment at a low cost, he logs onto ebay.com. But soon discovers that no one is selling the equipment he wants. So Henry finds a video equipment company that carries the products he wants. On a whim, he posts an auction for that same product the day he receives it. Eight bids and seven days later, Henry sells the video equipment for a small profit. He soon does some calculations and figures that he can make more money buying and selling hard-to-find video equipment than by starting his own video- editing business. › Continue reading

“Selling Down” Sales Process

Monday, November 5th, 2012 | by Michael Keesee | Comments

bbbThere is a store that only sells one thing: billiard tables. It carries all kinds of billiard tables. You might be surprised to know the different kinds of billiard tables that are made.  The price of each table varies too. One can buy a billiard table for as low as $200 to as high as $3,000!

All the salesmen in this store are very knowledgeable. They know everything about the game and even more about the tables. They are trained in a sales system. They would show the customer the $329 table first. They would reveal the features and benefits of that table one by one.

Then they would point to another table and say: “This table here is a bit pricey and costs more than $329 but it also has more benefits.”  They would then compare the 2 tables and people would get interested in the more expensive table.  After all, people buy the billiards table just once and might as well select the better one!  The salesmen would then show a few more expensive tables and see if the customer gets interested in them or not.  This process generated a handsome average sale of $550!

One day, the owner of the store asks the salesmen to change their entire selling system. › Continue reading

Nightclub VIP Pass

Thursday, October 25th, 2012 | by Michael Keesee | Comments


The nightclub business is a trendy business. Through some unknown criteria, the masses decide which club is “happening” on a particular day of the week. Some clubs will be the rage on Mondays but be total duds on Tuesdays. This is the case even if the club plays the same music on both the days.

One such nightclub was known for being the most happening club on Wednesdays. There would be huge queues outside the club on Wednesdays, but Fridays was another story. The nightclub always made a loss on Fridays.

› Continue reading

George vs Jerry

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 | by Michael Keesee | Comments


Mary and Jane are having lunch together.  They’ve met after a year and are catching up on their lives. Jane narrates why she marries Jerry instead of George…

Jane: “George has everything. He is handsome. Has a great sense of humour. Went to Harvard and is very intelligent. Runs his own business too. In fact, when I was with him, I felt like I was with the most wonderful person in this world.”

Mary: “Then why did you marry Jerry?” › Continue reading

Maximum profit with minimum effort

Friday, August 10th, 2012 | by Michael Keesee | Comments

The  café is a nice and successful coffee shop. It has a nice atmosphere and friendly people behind the counter.

oranThe café starts selling freshly squeezed orange juice in limited quantity to provide more variety to their early morning patrons. One employee would squeeze the oranges and produce about 10-12 cups of it. Orange juice has as high a profit margin as coffee. And they thought that by giving more choice to people, they might increase sales. But they didn’t do too well. They didn’t even sell those 12 cups a day.

Then one day, with one small change, they suddenly start selling all their orange juices. › Continue reading

Restaurant survey

Friday, July 13th, 2012 | by Michael Keesee | Comments

svGina operates a Restaurant and knows that for long- term success of the restaurant, she will have to find a cost effective way to build loyalty between the diners and the restaurant.  Gina shells out about some ad dollars and buys a full-page ad in the local newspaper. The ad simply says “Restaurant Survey.” The survey asks questions like:

°   How often do you eat out?

°   How often do you order delivery?

To convince people to fill out and mail the survey, Gina offers an incentive of $10 gift certificate to people. Her survey works better than she expects. It brings in more than 2,000 responses!   › Continue reading

Repackaging the carb-book

Thursday, June 21st, 2012 | by Michael Keesee | Comments

bvThe book “South Beach Diet” became an instant hit as soon as it was published. It is a slightly modified version of the Atkins diet and soon after Rodale had published it, it started climbing the bestseller lists. In fact, that book has topped the national bestsellers list for months. When Waterfront Media published the ebook version of South Beach Diet at southbeachdiet.com, they thought it would be a massive hit online too.

But unfortunately that wasn’t so. The ebook version didn’t catch on. Bo Peabody, the founder of Waterfront Media, who had earlier sold Tripod.com to Lycos.com, was quoted as saying: “A book is incredibly compelling in the hands of a reader on the beach, but not so compelling when it’s in digital form on the computer screen.” Was this the end of the ebook fad? › Continue reading