AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Bigger, and better? The new shopping malls in KL

They are huge, they are big and just dramatically setting new standards – I am talking about the new malls in Kuala Lumpur. One is Ikea from Sweden, which is more located at the outskirts of the city. Opposite of Tesco supermarket, another huge mall from the UK, which is in heavy competition with Carrefour – located downtown in Megamall. Now I wrote about so many new developments in KL at once, and I am already lost in my thoughts.

The other mall, called Times Square, right in the middle of the town, was developed by the conglomerate Berjaya Group, officially opened yesterday. Both, Ikea and Times Square have well lit parking lots – Ikea’s is bright like the daylight. Probably a result of the brutal rape and murder of Conny Ong, which was kidnapped in a dark parking lot, and where there were hardly security forces around. The case caused quite a stir in Malaysia and many people asked for better protection in currently quite unsecured parking lots.

As a result, well, something improved and I like it.

Ikea is huge, two stories and a lot of staff. But what I wanted to right about is Time Square, also nice. But I see several problems here. First, there are many other shopping malls around, so there could be a huge cannibalisation process. But let the fittest win. In the new mall, there are so many different shops, mostly smaller and consisting of so far unknown brands in the Malaysian market. Difficult, and they need to develop some image, some awareness. As such, they might not compete against the established malls since those have the usual and pretty "normal and common" outlets, or a unique position. I am talking about Sungai Wang, and its position as IT center, or Lot 10 and KLCC (a bit further away) as a shopping heaven. But then, nobody knows to whom the new shops in Times Square cater. To the rich and famous? To the middle income class? Or lower class? I believe that they try to capture a higher income audience, based on the design of Times Square. But I don't know myself. Additionally, they have an in-door entertainment park in form of a roller coaster. A real WoW. McDonalds, as usual, and showing its expertise in property managment (McD is NOT in the food business, but in the real estate business, do you know that?). Just aside the roller coaster - packed with people, watching it. While this location is aside the main part of the shopping mall, you see a lot of "hang-outs". So the issue is that there will be a lot of people just coming to see the fun part of the mall - the challenge for the shops is it to direct some of the traffic into their own premises. Not an easy task, since many of the shops are a bit away from the invisible line that seperates the fun part of the mall from the commercial section.

Another, and probably HUGE problem is the management of the traffic. Okay, their parking lot is huge, just like the mall. But the mall is located in an area called Bukit Bintang - and as everybody knows who travesl there from time to time, this is a traffice challenged area, so to speak And to put a mall like this just into the middle - WoW. If a similar thing happened as happened to MegaMall - which has tremendous traffic jams leading up to their parking lots - I will be one, who won't be a frequent visitor, as sad as it is.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Tom Peters, part II: Greatness shows in a fast and efficient reply

Well, I complained to tompeters company (as I appear to do often :), although it is usually not my trait), and well, they replied fast and efficient. In fact, they did something that please me very much, although I absolutely didn't expect it - Tom Peters is pretty open about his material and posts his presentation on his webpage ( Great to follow and interesting material. For a fee, one can purchase those with speaker notes.

Following my note, I received some of his older, but still actual presentation with speaker notes. And a response that actually indicates a learning - I think.

Here it is:

"Dear MyName,


Attached please find my penance. These are Tom's annotated slides. They include the actual notes he uses in his speeches. We sell them on our online store. I hope you like them.

Regards, (his name)"

It shows that great companies don't keep quiet when they here that someone is not really happy. Even if it is only regarding one person out of may be a few 100,000 or a couple of million or whatever. It is more expensive to entice a customer and takes much longer than to loose one.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Tom Peters

I love Tom Peters and his messages. He is the one who awoke me, his advises assisted me in developing my approach to work, to my projects and how I handle people.

I have lots of his books, frequent his webpage and read the newest news. Naturally, I was delighted when I heard that he would publish a new book to be in the stores by October 15, 2003. Than I read that the release of the UK edition would be only sometimes in November, and that worried me. Since the release in the UK is already planned only for November, how would that be for Malaysia somewhere down in Asia?? Inquisitively, I thought I check – and send them an e-mail, since, hey, they should know!!

Here is my mail:

"Dear Sir/ Madam,

I look forward to the new book "Re-Imagine". The
publication date has been announced for October 15, but
I was wondering, if this is also valid for Malaysia,
the country I am residing in?

Looking forward to your early response!

Best regards,

My Name"

Guess what? They actually didn’t know. A co-worker of the publisher, someone in charge, didn’t know the release date of his “boss” (so to speak) in Malaysia.

Here is his reply:

"Dear Andreas,

Tough to know when the book will be available in Malaysia. However, if you
are willing to pay the shipping, you can always get the book via our own web
site or through


His Name"


Subsequently, I booked the book in a local bookstore, and they told me they would expect it sometimes around the end of October, what than turned out to be the next day – as the guy in charge there called my on my handphone. But, take it slowly – tompeters company did not know. They guy in charge on their side actually advised me to order the book via their webpage or from fine, could have done, was close to do so. Lucky I didn’t and checked with the local bookstore. Also, nothing wrong with the book itself. Great as usual, and really recommendable. But not knowing that little fact? How bad can it get? Tom Peters preaches about revolution in information technology, connectivity, and more. He preaches about branding, and advises to take a different look at things and turn them upside down If you are slow, you fail. And his people don’t know when the book will be published in Malaysia? Sure, there are uncertainties, but hey, they don’t know it not even indicatively???? At least try to find it out, get back to the customer, inform the customer DELIGHT the customer!!!! And I am a customer, am I not? Right? Right!!! How do I feel now carrying on with the message to embrace a revolution, delight customers, make their days a WoW experience, whne they fail pathetically to respond to a normal inquiry? Someone help me please! Wonder if I get a response? I will send my link to them, and also indicate that the response wasn't that great.

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