1 of 2: The Perks of Personalization

October 29th, 2018

The most beautiful sound in the world has almost nothing to do with music. Pavarotti has probably never sung it and birds have never chirped it. Eleanor Rigby, Polythene Pam and Mean Mr. Mustard are among the select few who ever heard it from The Beatles. Kanye only raps it to himself.

No matter who you are and what type of music you listen to, the most delightful, beautiful, wonderful sound in the world is … your name.

Every year, Forbes ranks the world’s most admired companies. Three of the safest bets to appear each year: Apple, Starbucks and Southwest. Computers, coffee and commuter flights. Different products. Strikingly similar strategies: mass production … for you.

What’s the first thing you do when you buy a new iPhone? You change the background. You edit your contact list. You make that phone yours. That plastic rectangle with the polka-dot case and the photo of your three cats isn’t an iPhone 6. It’s “Cheryl’s iPhone 6.” What about Starbucks? Whether you’re in Pittsburgh or Poughkeepsie, the coffee tastes the same. But what does every single barista ask after he takes your order? “Can I get a name?”

That grande soy mocha foo foo latte is yours, darn it. And when you buy your six-dollar Starbucks at LAX and head toward the Southwest gate, they will never assign you a seat. But that Southwest agent takes your ticket, scans your barcode and says with a smile: Have a nice flight, Cheryl. And you love the sound of that.

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