Back in 1996, when I was putting the finishing touches on, and getting ready to open, a new food concept in Vancouver, the natural tendency was to be highly suspicious of anyone with a camera, especially if that person was asking a lot of questions about what we considered to be proprietary information.
I can remember more than one instance where someone poking around the store, loitering far too long, asking too many questions, shooting surreptitiously from across the street, went on to open a competing business. It got to a point where the concept of industrial espionage was not limited to Fortune 500 companies, and our spy-dar was so highly tuned we could see them coming, and all staff was quickly advised to be on high alert.
Fast forward a decade and change, and the clandestine shooter is embraced with open arms. That undercover operative is given carte blanche access. Every iPhone user is no longer a secret agent, but a de facto Director of Public Relations, and is openly encouraged to take pictures, post pictures, share pictures, ask questions, and take notes. These days one runs a retail business on an open source platform.
You share everything, from the trivial to the crucial. The risk of having someone knock off your concept is mitigated by the conversation people are having about your brand, and the loyalty that ensues. As a business owner, you’re born to pioneer change, and are not surprised when every shift in tactic redefines your business and how you approach it.
I imagine no one is fretting over reprinting business school case study textbooks. It’s all being uploaded, downloaded, Googled and SMS’d faster than we can see it coming. My spy-dar is so last century.
Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
Call the store: 604.633.2451
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181
Watch: youtube.com search mink chocolates
In Person: 863 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9
Nine out of every ten persons say they love chocolate. The tenth lies.
– Anthelme Brillat-Savarin