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How To Become The ‘Starbucks’ of Security

The other day, I was at Starbucks (the one on Gold Star Boulevard in Worcester, MA) and I was standing in line waiting to order my triple shot espresso Venti latte when it occurred to moi that…

There is nothing exciting or extraordinary about being a hole-in-the wall coffee shop. Starbucks transcends the ordinary coffee shop business and makes an enormous fortune doing it by steaming milk, calling a large a grande, calling minimum wage employees that serve coffee “baristas”… and… having the brass cajones to charge $4.00 plus for a cup of Joe.

And the CEO Howard Shultz has the ability to keep a straight face while they do it!

There is so much that you can learn from Starbucks, Disney Land, Nordies (Nordstrom) and may other nationally recognized companies. But let’s concentrate on Disney Land:

Mickey Mouse Ears
Disney Land Is An Amusement Park …that makes you pay one price (they were the first to do that), wait in amazingly long lines and wade through a gift shop after every ride and struggle by all the merchandising just to leave the park… through one exit (they were the first to do that, too). Before Disney, you wandered in and out of amusement parks all over the place. Disney funnels you through a gauntlet of merchandise.

Think about it – you wait for an hour and go on a two minute ride, to be sold a bunch of stuff with a cartoon character on it. Then they take one last swing at your wallet as you desperately try to leave with just enough to make it home!

There where plenty of amusement parks before Disney. There will be more after. Amusement parks are ordinary. Disney is extraordinary. But it’s the same business… with a mouse… and a heck of a lot of “experience” and merchandising.

The only place I know of that might be better at extracting money from you is Las Vegas.

There are many more examples, but I think you get the point.

The REAL truth is — it’s ordinary business made extraordinary by slight of hand.

The bottom line is…
How Can You Reposition Yourself And Your Security Business So You Are No Longer A Generic, Universal, Just Your Average-Joe Security Company, Bound By Our Industry Norms – Pricing, Hours of Operation, Scheduling and Availability?

In other words… how can you become the Starbucks, Disney Land, Nordies of the security industry?

I’ll tell you. Pull up a chair, get a pen and paper and listen up real good:
By creating multiple ways of positioning and doing everything just a little bit differently.

Do this by asking yourself, “If I was a client, what would I appreciate and perceive as delightfully different, that would knock my socks off, and I would stand at the mountain top telling everyone about my business?

Make everything a unique experience and watch client appreciation and referrals go through the roof.

Maybe add one small permanent change each week and overtime, you’ll transform your security business.

Right this quote in blood….
“Do what you do so well that people can’t help telling others about you.” Walt Disney

Now, let me tell you about a less than stellar experience I had just yesterday:

Home Depot
Home Depot Is A Big Box Hardware Store …that you have to find and get your own stuff. I know, because I was just in there – five workers all sent me on a wild-goose-chase trying to find clear 60 watt light bulbs. I ended up combing the isles myself to find them!

Technically – they should be paying YOU for locating the stuff, climbing the ladders and lugging boxes yourself. But noooo – you gladly go and “do it yourself.” And so do millions of Americans. How’s that for a psychological switch-a-roo?

Ace Hardware
Now lets take a look at Ace Hardware. They may not have the full monty of selection that Home Depot has, but boy do they provide great customer service! Each time I walk in the Ace Hardware here in town, I feel like a celebrity! I’m greeted with a big “Hi! How ya doing today?” when I walk in the door and each sales associate is knowledgeable and leads me (practically by the hand) right to the product I am looking for. They may be a tad bit more expensive than Home Depot, but the exceptional service and the time I save looking for stuff (cuz, last time I checked, time = money!) makes up for it in spades!

Peace Out!


FYI I did pickup a dog last weekend for my kids. So now it’s time to disconnect my Fort Knox style alarm system. She’s my new personal protection attack dog. She weighs 2.5lbs soaking wet. Meet Maeve!

Security Marketing Guru's Dog - Maeve

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