July 10, 2024


Let's use a Dale Carnegie technique ... show of hands, how many of you have eaten at McDonalds?

Now, how many of you routinely eat salads when you go to McDonalds?

You might enjoy this article, sent to me by an intrepid reader (my wife), about the de-emphasis of salads at McDonalds (click here).

One of the seminal moments in my career happened at Nordstrom in 2003. We were having endless meetings about shutting down the catalog division, and at one point I mentioned that the catalog generated $160,000,000 in annual sales and about $8,000,000 in annual profit. My boss said "who cares"? Stunned, I said something pithy like "shareholders care, it matters that we generate sales and profit." Her response was even better.

  • "Kevin, we discontinue items every single day. Every single day. And yet, we somehow move forward. We can discontinue a marketing channel in the same way we discontinue products. Besides, we don't want that customer."

I went back to my office ... a naive 37 year old Vice President, pondering how stupid my company was to not want the profit from a catalog customer in North Dakota.

And then I thought about it.
  • You can discontinue marketing channels, it's ok.
  • It's ok to not want all customers.

So yeah, if McDonalds doesn't want the salad eater, that's fine. Go make the McRib customer happy. And yeah, they'll be told that they don't have healthy options. My goodness. There's an infinite world of healthy options. Salad and Go has 'em. Interestingly, they don't want the McRib customer.

Have you ever asked yourself who the customer is that Macy's wants?

Or how about your brand?

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