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How thinking outside the box – or the circle – can help build a business.

How thinking outside the box – or the circle – can help build a business. December 22, 2014 by Mike Henshaw

You wouldn’t naturally associate the manufacture of tyres with producing a restaurant guide – or would you?

Way back in 1900, brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin were busily occupied producing tyres for French motorists, although at that time the cars in France numbered fewer than 3,000.

The question was, how to boost usage of both cars and tyres?

“I know” said one brother to the other “Let’s produce a restaurant guide!” Yes, really.

This was a piece of lateral and inspired thinking that saw the launch of the Michelin hotel restaurant guide, designed to give French motorists ideas as to where to travel and dine, and thereby encouraging usage of both cars and tyres.

A great example of how thinking outside the box, or in this case the circle, can help build a business, or even take it in a new direction.

The annual Michelin guide has since evolved into a powerful institution and its star ratings are akin to the Oscars for chefs and restaurants the world over. Meanwhile, the 135 year old tyre company itself has stayed on the fast track and with an annual turnover of 20 billion euro, it is ranked second in the global tyre sweepstakes, after Bridgestone of Japan.

So here’s the challenge. Take some time to get together with your team and colleagues to brainstorm what you could do that’s new or different.

What could you offer that is innovative or demands attention, something that your competitors aren’t doing? Something that will make you stand out from the crowd, encourage customer loyalty and preference.

It might be a good idea to start with those areas that you know are most tricky or can  make the most impact on customer relations such as:

  • Customer Parking
  • Greeting customers on the used car display
  • Customer waiting at Service Reception at peak times
  • Feedback after servicing and repairs
  • New and used car handover

You may get some crazy ideas but there may also be some gems.

Let us know!

In the meantime, we’ve got some superb examples already lined up for you which we will be publishing in the next few weeks, so keep a look out for them.




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