Time to Spurn the Concept of Churn
What would happen if a business ran out of viable customers? What if the pipeline of new blood permanently dried up? Sound far-fetched? It’s not as outlandish as you might think. In fact, this is precisely what happens in entrenched categories, industries, and brands that are trading in otherwise mature and/or stagnating markets.
In the early days of any new product or category, there is the shiny-object syndrome that operates in a business’s favor. Everything is new and exciting, invites trial and experimentation, and rewards curiosity and intrigue. Sometimes all it takes to fill a store that has previously been vacated is just to open the doors.
For most companies, there just isn’t enough pixie dust to go around and get people in the store. And so we turn to gimmicks: Take a walk down any given street in Manhattan and you’ll be overwhelmed with the number of Grand Opening signs (it used to be Under New Management). Soon enough, however, you’ll come to realize that the only thing Grand about the opening was the purchase of the actual Grand Opening sign. And once the sign is lowered and stored with the Under New Management sign, fake Christmas tree, electric menorah, pumpkin, and other window candy, it becomes a simple numbers game: prioritizing quantity (foot traffic) over and above quality (service).
This game works up to a point, but soon the magic wears off and consumers are in on the secret. No longer do bells and whistles differentiate ...