Relentless Heat and Perception

It was 116 degrees the other day. My dog needed to go to the bathroom. I took him outside ... he looked right, he looked left, he stuck his tongue out of his mouth, and he walked back to the front door.

His bathroom break would wait a few more hours.

A few nights ago, it was 102 degrees out. My dog had no issues with prancing around the neighborhood ... doing his duties and investigating crickets and geckos and bunnies.

See, my dog knows the difference between 102 degrees and 116 degrees. He knows that 102 is as good as it gets.

In Seattle the pups stay inside when the mercury hits 102. It's HOT and MISERABLE and dogs are gonna wait for cooler weather.

So a data-driven approach leads us to different levels of perception ... 102 in Phoenix is comfortable ... 102 in Seattle is miserable ... same temperature, different level of perception.

Back in 1995, I worked at Lands' End. We had a 20%ish return rate, and we HATED having a return rate this high. Then I left for Eddie Bauer, where we had a 26%ish return rate selling essentially the same merchandise, and Management LOVED having a return rate that was deemed "acceptable".

We all perceive similar things differently, and we perceive different things the same way. This provides weak spots in our strategy, especially when we convince everybody working with us of our level of perception.