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Familiar story: new fast-food biz wants to draw customers to its outlet, considers the most useful baits, launches a banner declaring FREE WI-FI—> an appeal to teenagers, young adults, young professionals. Seems like a good, easy marketing strategy a la Starbucks.

To the new biz: Some will come, the notorious freebie seekers. They will make you happy-at first but will do what they want to do with your free Wi-Fi. They will visit once, twice or maybe even on schedule but will move on in pursuit of better when their torrent downloads begin to break. They are not your customers…

And true, there are those who will come to know your business because of this bright idea. They will come, not for your internet connection but for an experience: total quality experience from the security/greeter at the door, clean, clean, clean interior, sensible service personnel at the till and of course, your fantastic cupcake or akara or burger or chicken salad or kokoro. Will your business make them happy when they come?

Focus on the quality of your primary business. Don’t depend too much on the wonderful results this freebie might promise. Innovate your actual product, not some detached add-on. Let your add-on(s) be as close to your primary offering as possible.

Improve your customer’s total service experience. Do something about the food, the variety or the specialty if you so choose. Create or adopt something new. Or at least bring something out of fashion back. Let the customer’s anticipation of quality experience compel your doors to keep swinging, sliding back and forth while you race to install more tills to receive the exchange of cash for your efforts. Just my opinion.

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