Recently my wife, Jean, and I drove by a Red Lobster and discussed that we had never eaten at one. Well, at least, together.
I confessed that I am a closet lover of the cheese and herb butter biscuits they served as an appetizer and had visited the establishment on several occasions while traveling on business. Red Lobster is easier on an expense account than many other purveyors of seafood.
I have no idea why I felt the need to justify my experiences with Red Lobster and fondness for these biscuits. After all, it’s just a biscuit.
Imagine my surprise when, not more than a week after my foodie confession, I see on the shelf at Lunds and Byerly’s grocery store in Chanhassen, Minnesota a box of do-it-yourself Red Lobster biscuits!
With me on my visit to the store was Jean and my daughter, Anne, who is a budding marketing professional for HelpSystems here in Eden Prairie. Both Anne and Jean were amused by my enthusiasm for the biscuit find.
After I thought about it for a second, I wondered aloud, “Is it a poor strategy to offer in a package at the store the one thing that may bring me back into the restaurant?”
Anne, the new Marketer, gave an insightful response to my question. She asked, “Is it a bad strategy, did you plan to go there soon to get some biscuits?”
Delighted by this engagement I answered, “No. I wasn’t planning to go there.” Jean rolled her eyes because she knew I had pulled Anne into my game.
Anne quipped, “Well, then, it seems to me that at least they got $2.50 out of you that they would not have gotten so I think it’s a pretty smart move on their part.” Check-mate, she knocked me out with the first move.
I almost wept with admiration, was humbled by her thoughtful response and realized that my youngest daughter had grown up.
True, Anne had clearly demonstrated her maturity by graduating from college, living in Thailand for a year and myriad other examples. So perhaps my wonder was because we connected on a topic that is interesting to me and thus allowed me to see her through a different lens.
My own. Not very Dale Carnegie-like, I know.
Recently, I read an excellent book called, “Edge Strategy” by Alan Lewis and Dan McKone. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.
This move by Red Lobster is the application of what Lewis and McKone term a “Product Edge Strategy.” This strategy is creating a new opportunity by pushing on the inside edge of a product already available within the enterprise.
Last night, as an appetizer, we made the biscuits and they were nothing short of amazing. Probably not too good for us and that’s okay!
I am grateful, Red Lobster, that you gave me a way to see my daughter in a new light. It is doubtful this was your intent in executing your strategy and still I thank you all the same.