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Hi-Fi Vinegar

January 23, 2010 :: Tags: , :: Comment

Last few years I did a lot of consulting in Miami, staying at a boutique hotel in South Beach. Few times dined at a good steakhouse (not a chain). In fact, once the night before I ate there, Gorbachev was there. This steakhouse is also known for their wine cellar which I have toured a couple of times. They have a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, priced at $175,000. The sommelier once told me and my guests that this wine is really vinegar now.

Maybe I mis-took him as being serious. Thinking of it, I can not help but think of the products of some companies as expensive vinegar. One can also conclude that if we do not use our gear, regardless of the price, they “vinegar”. Hope you are enjoying your music this week-end.

A customer of mine once said he is rich. He tells his daughters they have a lot of money, but they don’t have a penny to waste. That comment resonates in my mind at times as I talk to customers. I do my best to treat them as they have no pennies to waste.

An ex-president of a multi billion dollar, highly respected luxury retailer told me once that at his shops they do not sell what customers need, they sell what customers want. There are people like me who want the absolute best, and are willing to pay for it. For us “value” may be less important. We know we are paying too much for that very last bit of perceived improvement or differentiation. We also tend to be loyal to a brand or a company, or people. Those companies or brands or people can screw us once, but then they lose all the potential lifetime revenue from us as we will be goners.

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