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Archive for August 31, 2010

Do People Line Up For Your Brand?

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple Store in NYC

One of the things that’s really sunk in in my first few months as a Planner is that the answers you get aren’t that important if you’re not already asking the right questions.

So here’s a question to keep in mind:

Do you have a product or service people will wait in line for? If not, why? What can we do, as Planners, to change behavior and give people a reason to give us some of their precious time?

I got the idea for this post this past weekend when I decided to try Kogi BBQ. Kogi is notorious for long lines; I’ve heard of people waiting as long as two hours for their food!!

Great food, bad pic

Anyway, the following video gives us two main reasons people wait in line:

1) People over-estimate the value of something when it’s free

2) People want to be 1st to see or do something that’s is considered cool

Well, Kogi and lots of other products aren’t free, but the second reason is a little more relevant.

Going a step further, I think one of the main reasons people will wait in line when they don’t really have to is for the story (of course, herd mentality and fanboy-ism can also be at play). And a story is greater than any product or service because it can last way beyond the point of sale.

In a product life cycle, the purchase is a short, fleeting moment. The anticipation, the excitement and everything else leading up to that moment are what create lasting memories for people. So much so that I’m still talking about a lunch I had at Kogi two days ago and not the breakfast I had at home this morning.

You can see lines like this just about any day at In-N-Out Burger, as well as in midtown NYC at Shake Shack, but the real challenge isn’t what happens when people form a line for you — it’s what they do when the line is gone.

Further reading/viewing:

Apple’s iPhone 4 Hits Stores Thursday

Crowds Queue Up Around U.S. For iPhone 4

How Long Would You Wait In Line for Food?

The Psychology of Waiting Lines

What I’m Reading: The Culting of Brands

Categories: MARKETING
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