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.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Bad marketing move by Faber Group

This picture shows the entry to a small street, which parallels a larger street. Along this smaller street are shoplots selling all kinds of products, as well as restaurants and other services, like a car workshop, hair dresser, or an art school. There might be others, I am not aware of.

All this years, there was no parking attendant at the entry to this street - entry was free, people got used to it, and recently, parking became a bit more chaotic, but manageable, as the number of cars increased.

Everything changed today - since, there is this parking attendant charging for entry and parking. I first thought it is one of those scams that happen in Bangsar, where a "poor guy" rips of visitors in the evening time to park in parking lots. No, this one here belongs to the Faber Group, subsidiary of Renong.

Do I think this is correct? Nope, this is company specific thinking and product oriented, without consideration for customers, be they car drivers looking for something in the street or those who run or work in the shoplots. I was eating in my favourite Indian restaurant, just behind the entry of the street, and a lot of people complained about it. Many cars just ignored the parking lot attendant - but for how long? Currently, if someone stops, and says, he or she just wants to drop off something, he barks and somewhat unfriendly tells them to be out in two minutes.

Will Faber gain anything from this? Nope - as far as I could see, the entry is just 30 cents. Do they hope to monetize of this - sure they do, considering that their balance sheet is still leaking red ink, and net profit is way down.

But serious, how would I describe the action? Totally customer unfriendly, bad marketing, not worth the money for Faber. There thinking was probably that great, there is a lot of traffic chaos, this street belongs to Faber, people need to park, let's charge some money for a formerly free service.

There is one rule in the Internet world, namely, that a company cannot charge for something that was free before. Look at newspapers that try to impose subscription fees to online visitors - they are small, and visitors mostly don't stay and look somewhere else. Similar in the real world. I repeat - you cannot charge for something that was free before with one big exception - you provide a great new service, something that people think, is worth paying for. Is the entry to a street worth paying? Propably not. Cars will be parked outside, double lane, creating total chaos. The parking lot attendant will be verbally abused. The shoplot owners will be extremely unhappy.

I would hope shareholders won't see this as positive and sell some more shares as there is a direct link between customer satisfaction and revenue growth.

I know that I sound upset, but this is upsetting. How can it be that in the current world, we are still ruled by rules that are made for the industrial world. Faber, on their webpage writes: "Change is the law of life and those who only look to the past or the present are certain to miss the future". Nice saying - just one thing - they don't live by it. They just missed the present and the future.

I will send Faber the link, and wonder if they react to it? What's is my bet? You can thiknk this part for yourself. But since I link to them, everytime, someone looks for Faber, this article will also come up - and more readers can evaluate the move.


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