Is it just me or does it seem to you that when a company reaches a certain point they tend to lose a certain something about what it is they are doing? So I watched this video earlier today. For me, I found Annette Alvarez-Peters view on wine to be unsurprising. It was just a little over a year ago that I had some words about the president of AB Inbev UK having a similar view on beer.
You see, when you get so big that your product lines are just that, product lines, you no longer need to view them as something special individually. With a company like Costco, they are more interested to see products move out the door than they are interested in ensuring customer education.
It tends to become more of a popularity contest for products. Not that this is necessarily wrong; a company is going to restock its shelves with products that move. The problem we run into is, at places like this we don’t find people with the knowledge to help the consumer make an informed decision. More often than not we find consumers who are more willing to shop by price tag instead of satisfaction (yes I know that getting a deal can be a certain satisfaction but that is neither here nor there).
This causes me to wonder, with the direction the consumer mind set is going now, how much longer will we see stores like this in operation? Looking down the road, yes, this type of mind set will continue for a while (the cheaper is better mind set). But the current consumer trend is building to more for the money; more flavor, better quality, more value. Soon a company won’t be able to get away with just having the best prices.
Something I did notice from the video. Something Alvarez-Peters mentioned when asked about sharing the Costco wine with others. She spoke of blind tasting through the use of a decanter and then when your guests like the wine sharing with them the identity. Could it be her way of saying that education could be a good thing for the consumer?
I think its time for a pint…