Inspirations, deep thoughts, surprising insights, or random ideas on how social media intersects PR.
In the beginning of chapter two, Structure, Strategy, and the Content Code, in the Content Code, writer Mark W. Schaefer tells a story about “Souper Thursday.” (Pg. 28) He explains that “Souper Thursday” was an event that took place at a car wash dealership after the owner of the dealership and downtown restaurant owner, Robert, partnered up. They decided to sell Robert’s soup for free at the dealership when customers came to get their car wash on Thursday’s. It was a hit, and according to Schaefer, the car dealership was flooding with customers. However, business declined when competing car dealership down the road copied his idea, and gave out different food for free on Thursday’s as well.
After the story was told, Schaefer moves on in the chapter explaining how “attempting to be epic enough to succeed in a highly competitive environment comes at a cost.” (Pg. 28) In my opinion, he stated this quite negatively. Yes, I agree that for the car dealership owner who invented the idea of selling soup for free at his dealership was brilliant, and frustrating when someone copied him. However, I do not think that this means it is the end for him. For example, in my hometown there are numerous delis, bagel stores, and pizzerias- Long Island, New York, go figure! My town is not very large, so yes it can be viewed as a very competitive environment between owners. However, being the customer who was born and raised in this town, knows that each deli, bagel store, and pizzeria holds something unique and different to the other. For instance, Amalfi’s Pizzeria sells a very good salad, where as Rosa’s Pizzeria has a great sauce on there slices, but when I’m in the mood for extra cheese I would only go to Carlos’ Pizzeria. For bagels, Manorhaven Bagel’s location is more convenient when in a rush, where as Let There Be Bagels has more cream cheese options and the bagels are doughier. For delis, I have two favorites; Harbor Deli has great sandwiches and chopped salads, where as Bayview Deli means running into everyone you grew up with and offers the best wraps, half and half ice teas and Cajun dressing for sandwiches.
Above, I provided examples of the businesses from my hometown to show that even though there are numerous companies that might be selling the same products or providing the same service (food), does not mean that they will be doomed for business because every corporation has something unique or special to its own. Even though a new dealership down the road has also begun selling food, does not mean that business will completely decline. One carwash dealership sells fabulous soup, while the other sells sandwiches and salads. If dealership is that threatened, maybe they can change the service or environment so customers can potentially sit down to eat, or be served at a table, etc.