OK – this is driving me nuts! Go to my local coffee shop and you’ll get asked if you want your coffee ‘rich or smooth’. Maybe I’m just too stupid early in the morning to answer this question but what the heck does it mean? I want coffee rich and smooth. Is rich coffee unsmooth? Is smooth coffee weak? I don’t get it. I’m awarding this coffee shop first prize in the ‘Over-Enthusiastic but Ultimately Dopey Product Innovation Awards’.
It reminds me of a story a banker colleague told me about queues. She went into the local branch of the bank she works for and the teller apologised for the queue – despite the fact no queue existed. Perplexed she called the branch manager later in the day to enquire what sort of drugs the staff were taking only to be told that it was ‘Queue Week’ – mystery shoppers were said to be crawling all over the retail estate checking on queues and colleagues ability to smile and apologise for them.
But it’s ok the world hasn’t gone totally crazy for unthinking innovation. In the most unlikely of places I discover an example of great insight and am very grateful for it. Let me take you to the men’s urinals in Heathrow Terminal 3. Instead of placing your bag on the wet floor (use your imagination here) while you stand and do your business – instead, the clever insightful folks have created bag stashes – secure, dry and very welcome. Bravo to the loo designers at Heathrow for acting on their insight. I wish they worked in my coffee shop.