Ice cream! Don’t we all love it? Have you ever used ice cream to thwart competition? Have you used this as a tool to lure fellow classmates away from your rivals in school?
I have never used this as a mechanism to eliminate foes. But, someone has!
My friend belongs to a family who runs a chain of restaurants, spread across Tamil Nadu and Kerala, catering to the in transit population. Their restaurants are located near the busy and popular bus stations because of the clientele, right in the face of hungry traveler but inconspicuous for a casual passerby. These restaurants are not flashy. Yet, appealing to the hungry. There are no franchisees and the chains of hotels do not belong to a single registered company. The commonality is the family (or the bloodline) and being in the family, you can adopt the name while setting up a hotel in a new town.
In one of the towns blessed with their presence, a competitor started a new restaurant very near to my friend’s family establishment. Since the competitor had similar menu and also was catering to similar clientele, his family feared a substantial loss of customers. So, what did they do? They came up with a simple and effective way to undermine the competitor. For every sale above a certain amount, they gave out a free ice cream! The amount was set at such a level, you can easily achieve it by making barely minimum purchases.
Do I need to say more? The competitor shut down his shop in two months!
Picture Courtesy: http://www.orgs.bucknell.edu