I was in a meeting the other day with someone who was an executive at one of the worlds largest beer companies. He said that he would be told what the name of the new product would be by the aging leader. This was a beer that was going to be sold to 20 year-olds. No focus groups, no research, no inclusion of the many people that had been hired to do that exact job of product development and naming. How do you know this is the right name? Because I have one of the biggest companies in the world and my name is on the door, was the unsaid answer.
It totally reminds me of city slickers when Barry and Ira who are two ice-cream moguls (like Ben and Jerry’s) who delight in knowing the right flavor for any occasion.
Barry Shalowitz: What do you think? What would be the perfect flavor with this meal?
Ira Shalowitz: Cherry vanilla?
Barry Shalowitz: No. If it was Chinese food, right on the money, but this? Toasted almonds.
Mitch Robbins: What’s going on?
Ira Shalowitz: Barry can pick out the exact right flavor of ice cream to follow any meal. Go ahead. Challenge him.
Mitch Robbins: Challenge him?
Barry Shalowitz: Go on.
Mitch Robbins: Franks and beans.
Barry Shalowitz: Scoop of chocolate, scoop of vanilla. Don’t waste my time.
[Flings plate at Mitch as if he throws down the gauntlet]
Barry Shalowitz: Come on. Push me.
Mitch Robbins: Sea bass.
Barry Shalowitz: Grilled?
Mitch Robbins: Sauteed.
Barry Shalowitz: I’m with you.
Mitch Robbins: Potatoes au gratin. Asparagus.
Barry Shalowitz: Rum raisin.
Barry Shalowitz, Ira Shalowitz: WOOF!
When challenged to how they know it is the right flavor they reply, ‘We own 1300 stores nation wide…’ In other words, my name is on the door!