April 13, 2010
 

Felix and Oscar on Consumer Control, Part Two

Check out various Oscar & Felix trivia links below Spyro's article! - The Editors.

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By Spyro Kourtis, President of The Hacker Group

Felix: I'm still a little nervous about consumers.

Oscar: Hey, why worry? You know what David Ogilvy said: The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife.

Felix: Hey, that hurts. You know I'm not married anymore. And maybe that's why I'm nervous. Not the being single part . . . but if consumers have the control and they aren't morons, can I still sell them my product?

Oscar: Were you selling them before?

Felix: Well, sure . . . but I couldn't prove it.

Oscar: You know what I always tell you when you're scared, Felix.

Felix: What do you mean?

Oscar: When the good guy on the TV show is being chased by a bad guy . . .

Felix: . . . you say, "If you don't want to be hunted, be the hunter."

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Oscar: That's right! Turn the tables. Take control.

Felix: Yes! Be John McClane! Live fast! Die hard!

Oscar: I think it's "Live Free or Die Hard," Felix.

Felix: Right. But what does that mean? I should shoot the customer? Wrestle him to the ground? Knock the remote control out of his hand?

Oscar: I'd pay money to see that. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm saying you should take control wherever you can. Guide your customer down the path of their least resistance. Show them how you let them do what they want.

Felix: Oscar, that's a little too Zen for me. What are you saying? Do I or do I not take control?

Oscar: People are people. They're basically slobs. They're lazy. Show them the easy way and they'll take it.

Felix: I resent that! I'm no slob. I'm not lazy. What about all the people like me?

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Oscar: There are others like you? Sheesh. You're kidding me. Okay. In your case, you have very particular ways you like to do things. That's true of most people -- only not all to the same degree. Maybe I was a little . . . whatever . . . when I called people lazy. So what I'm saying is, if you know exactly what people want, give it to them whenever possible.

Felix: Like what?

Oscar: You give them the option of buying your product online, if they're lazy -- I mean, if they're looking for a more convenient way to shop. Or you send them to your store, if they're the kind of person who needs to see and touch your product.

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Felix: Oh, well, if I could read minds . . .

Oscar: Well, if they're your customers, you may already know what they've done in the past. Or you can always give them all the options you have available. The thing is, you can change patterns of behavior if you work at it.

Felix: Hah! I work very hard to get you to just pick up your socks. It hasn't happened yet.

Oscar: It takes leverage, kid. A reward. Not just the promise that you'll knock off the nagging. If you want your retail store customer to buy online because it benefits your bottom line, you'll have to kick in a reward. Airlines changed buying behaviors with their frequent flier programs. They just had to make it worthwhile to the customer.

Felix: I'll pay you $20 to pick up your socks.

Oscar: Deal.

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Spyro Kourtis, president of The Hacker Group, oversees his agency's strategic planning and relationships with a number of Fortune 500 clients including AAA, Expedia, Hilton Hotels, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, MSN, Oracle, VISA, Washington Mutual, WebEx and World Vision. He is publisher of High Performance Direct. He can be reached at skourtis@hackergroup.com.

The Odd Couple TV show Plot Synopsis: Each of the 114 episodes.

Plot Inconsistencies: The Odd Couple TV Show Plot Nitpicks

WashingtonPost.com: Catching up with Oscar & Felix!

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