Saturday, September 03, 2016

When Premium is Wrong

It's all around us - pay more to get treated like a king - the Premium Business Model. Pay more, arrive later, jump ahead in line, spread yourself out, get a shower while others stink. Premium lounges. Premium seating. Premium visa appointments. Premium parking. Hell, there's even such a thing as Premium darshan at temples - which is borderline discriminatory - but we'll let it pass. I have nothing against the concept. You have it, you like to splash it, and keep yourself in relative comfort - sure, knock yourself out.

Despite the premium everything, humanity persists, and must persist over everything else. Businesses eventually have to be just, because being humane and considerate is the ultimate customer experience. Imagine suggesting that people with physical disabilities should purchase premium to jump the line. Or parents with twin wailing, tired, hungry kids must buy premium to get served first. An airline could say "Just travel when you can walk yourself" or "Just travel when your kids are all grown up", but they won't - it's bad business.

If you directly serve consumers, pay close attention to where your premium model starts differentiating on humanitarian features, as opposed to material features. Because being inhuman through a premium model is bad business.

Note to: VFS Chennai, where 1 year old infants are held with their parents for 3 hours for a Visa appointment, without being allowed to carry infant food inside.

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