Not All Combinations are Good Ones

Challah is Jewish egg bread traditionally eaten on the sabbath. Sometimes I buy it, just because it is delicious. There is no need to make it into a dessert. I have seen a Boston Creme Challah where they fill it with creme and cover the top with chocolate stripes. It is likely too rich for its own good. And no, I haven’t tried it.

Another Instance of An Unknown Customer

Every company doing business with you wants you to do more business with you. It’s not always through an upsell. In some instances they want to strengthen the relationship by saving you money. This relationship will encourage you to do business with them again. My mortgage company often lets me know that I can save money by refinancing my mortgage. This is an instance where it only appears to save me money, when in fact, it costs me more money in total interest charges. It also locks me into a new mortgage.

They have tried another offer since I haven’t responded to those. This one actually saves me money in the long term. They have recommended that I pay an extra $100 per month on my mortgage. This is much better than refinancing because it all goes directly to my principal. And I can even set it up through my automatic payment plan. There’s only one problem. I’m already paying more than that each month in extra principal. And doing it through the automatic payment plan. They should never have sent that email. It is that lack of understanding of my business that would make me look for another mortgage.

That’s A Lot of Email

I checked out of my hotel in Chicago in the morning and by the end of the next day I had received 5 emails from them. Some were helpful and warranted. Others were not. When I checked out, the clerk told me that my email address was not on file. Odd, I told her. I had stayed at this hotel a month ago and they had emailed my receipt that time. They also had my loyalty number on file, which should give them access to my contact information. Anyway, I gave her my email address and I immediately got my receipt. Later in the day I received my receipt in an automated email since they now had my email address. That second one should have been suppressed. Even later in the day I received an email from a service engaged by the hotel letting me know that I had forgotten my toiletries, and inquiring if I would like them shipped back. This was a helpful email, although I already knew I had forgotten them and, no, I did not want them shipped to me. That would have been a different story had I left something more significant.

The next day I received a survey asking how they did. I rarely fill these out, so I ignore it. Then I got the fifth email from them asking if I planned to return to their hotel in Chicago any time soon. And if not, they have a new hotel in Guatemala. This is quick on the return, plus that alternate choice doesn’t make any sense. All they know about me is I’ve been to Chicago twice. Since this hotel is around the corner from my Chicago office I guess I’ll have to get used to getting lots of email from them.

Ice Cream of the Future

If you’ve ever been to an amusement park you have likely come across a Dippin’ Dots kiosk or cart. It was promoted as the ice cream of the future. Here we are in the future and their profile hasn’t really changed. They have expanded to malls over the years, but they are still far behind in the ice cream derby. Not even frozen yogurt has become the ice cream of the future.

Duck Versus Decorated Shed

I learned about an architectural concept called the duck versus the decorated shed. Most commercial buildings are decorated sheds. That means the building is designed in a utilitarian way and asign is posted out front to tell people what happens in the building. Big box retailers are a great example of this. A duck is a building with a unique design that describes what happens in the building. The theory was inspired by a duck-shaped building outside Las Vegas. It sold ducks. Buildings shaped like donuts and baskets are examples of ducks.