Establishing a Michelin Star Point of Difference

Recently some Aussie friends Facebooked about their experience at 3 Michelin Starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park, in New York. Here it is, verbatim:

Best culinary experience ever!!! Point of difference with this experience is that in the last course they gave you a ‘taste’ of apple brandy, then left you the bottle (40% alcohol). And they gave us a jar of homemade granola for breakfast tomorrow!!!

Eleven Madison Park probably has 30 points of difference, one of which is star chef Daniel Humm. Humm has been in charge since 2006 and delivers an outstanding product.

However, rather than the cooking, or the ambiance, the ace in the deck was a $15 bottle of booze and a $4 jar of granola delivered in a surprising and wonderful way. A random, generous way.

That $20 combo created a moment, a story, that reached probably 1,000 in our Facebook networks. Do you think Eleven Madison might get a return on that spend?!

Note that this random act of kindness wasn’t revolutionary, or big, or expensive. Instead, it was:

Unique – Their idea, not someone else’s.

Simple Eleven Madison didn’t make anyone jump through any hoops for their bottle of booze. It was a simple, charming way to connect. And if it’s simple, guess what happens? People have an easy time retelling it to others. As Seth Godin says, be less concerned with what you are telling people, and more interested in what your customers are telling people.
Generous – A little bonus from time to time really does warm the heart.

Standing out from the competition is more than an interesting pastime. It can make you serious money, because your customers more readily make the transition from “tyre kicking” to “already on your team” – before they even come on to your radar.

Maybe next time you’re in New York, you will look them up too! In the meantime, what are you going to do to stand apart from your competitors?

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