My friend discovered a mechanism that restaurants use to establish a repeat-customer base…the mechanism is called the “Tiger Team.” You see, when a restaurant first opens, a few mishaps or a bad set of servers can lead to word-of-mouth spreading rampant with the message that the restaurant sucks. Then, no-one will come and the restaurant is left with a crummy reputation. So what restaurants do is hire a “Tiger Team” – a temporary team of top-notch, charismatic, highly trained servers and managers. They attend to patron’s every need…the Tiger Team also encompasses a team of highly skilled chefs who elevate the standard fare and make it memorable. This Tiger Team instantly establishes loyalty — a customer base who is eager to write favorable reviews and tell their friends about the new hot restaurant in town. The restaurant does not have to be five star…it can be as lowly as Johnny Rockets, but the common denominator is that the restaurant is typically a franchise or chain. In fact, my friend and I were privvy to the Johnny Rockets Waterford Lakes Tiger Team in action…the food was good, the service expedient…and the Tiger Team even danced and toggled the lights on and off when certain songs came on the jukebox speakers.
I have come to find that the same process applies to products in the marketplace. Take John Frieda shampoos for example. They just launched a new product line called “Root Awakenking”…basically it is a tingling, eucalyptus-enhanced goop of mostly water and Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate. My wife sort of mechanically and instinctively said to me in the grocery store: “You had better get 3 or 4 of those because they won’t be as good in 2 months.” She inadvertently tapped into the hidden knowledge that products also undergo a tiger team treatment.
We have noticed the Tiger Team treatment applied to a number of products. Chewing gum is a great example – the intriduction of a new type or flavor of gum…the gum is always 2x stronger and longer lasting. Two months (or less) later, the taste of the gum is barely perceptible. Why? Because the manufacturer turns up the dial on the ingredients…whatever makes gum more strong is increased. The same is seen with frozen pizzas. CPK frozen pizzas started out just as good as their restaurant counterparts…excessive toppings, lots of cheese and a nice crust. Try them today and you will barely see any toppings, cheese or sauce…and the crust will be uneven and soggy. The same John Frieda shampoo today is not nearly as potent as it was when it first hit shelves.
Skeptics like to say that the mere fact that the product sits around on shelves, perhaps being improperly handled by high school stockboys in the back room leads to the product being less potent…but I do not buy this argument. Here is what I challenge you to do. Go find a new product…something edible…and something that hits the market in a big way. Try it. Takes notes on the subtelties of flavor. Now wait three months and go try the product again. Chances are, my point will be proven. See for yourself.