Variety can make the difference

I read an article recently about the tour Bruce Springsteen just ended. It mentioned how each one of his shows has a different set of songs he sings. Each night he featured a different one of his albums.

Traditionally, a musician will play the same basic set each concert so the idea of having a completely different album featured for each concert is quite different (and I’m sure much more difficult on his band).

Many performers have their die hard fans who will follow them wherever they go and will go to multiple concerts over the course of a tour. However, what Springsteen did makes it easier for the casual fan to want to go to multiple concerts since they know they wont be hearing the same song as the night before.

So, how does this apply to the rest of us? If you own a restaurant and have the same menu all the time, you will have some regular customers who come in because they like what you have to offer (think of them as Springsteen’s “die hard” fans). However, others might think “we ate there last time, let’s try something different this time” and go somewhere else. What if each week (or every two weeks) the menu changed? You would want to keep some house specialties on the menu (just like Springsteen plays Born to Run at every concert) but would vary the menu enough to keep people coming back to try new things.

If you run a camp and do the same thing each year, the camper who enjoyed things the first year and returned the second might think otherwise if it’s the exact same thing as the year before. Add a little innovation and they will keep coming back.

A comedy club that has different comedians but the same format basically has the same thing each week. The comedians might have different humor and different styles but the concept is still the same. What if you added an unannounced special occasionally? This could be something as simple as having a beer distributor give out samples of a new line of beer to the first 50 people to attend. Chances are, those 50 people will return again since they got something they didn’t expect or pay for. The others will want to arrive earlier next time to make sure they are one of the first 50 people (and I assume, by arriving earlier, they would be ordering an additional drink or two while waiting).

Most businesses can find ways to vary their offerings in order to increase repeat business. The alternative is to keep things the same and if things are perfect for you and your business, then go ahead and do that. For the rest of us, variety is something to consider

Have a great day!

Lawrence

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