Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: The Nature of Change

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,953

    The Nature of Change

    WSU MUP Student’s remarks about the changes that occurred over the years at Starbucks, reminded me of a similar situation in the fast food industry. There once was a chain which originated in Kalamazoo called “Hot ‘n Now”. It started as a single store back in the mid 80’s and over the next decade expanded rapidly to a 150 store chain. It began as a double-lane drive-through only restaurant that offered 39 cent hamburgers (and cheeseburgers for 49 cents), fries, and soft drinks. The food was never what one would consider quality but the extreme low price, menu simplicity, and comparatively rapid service (featuring only four basic items on the menu) were the engines that drove the chain’s success initially. During the 90’s the chain was acquired by Pepsi Co. and began offering more numerous and more elaborate menu items at different prices, the rationale being that the stores were doing so well making two cents per sale at high volumes, that they’d make even more money if they could maintain the same volume but make ten cents on each sale. Trouble was, each time they kept making the menu more varied they also added additional complexity to the order delivery system, thereby slowing down service and increasing mistakes. Having royally screwed up the simple initial formula for success, the chain eventually went bankrupt about three years ago.

    Seems like we had a discussion on some thread not too long ago about how cable music video channels, like MTV did something similar where they kept offering more and more of the programming typically found on network channels (makes more $$$$) that they eventually stopped playing music videos altogether! The producers at MTV are still making boatloads of money (oh, they did create MTV 2) but the wonderful thing they originally created incrementally ceased to be what it once was.

    I guess sometimes the nature of whether change is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder, but incremental change is not limited only to the world of business. Dan’s recent thread about the Green party is testament to this fact. The Green party was all about environmental policy when it began, but in their desperate quest to obtain votes they seem to be hitching their wagon to some questionable mules.

    What examples have you seen where something once great, tasty, creative, bold, or somehow otherwise good and wonderful, incrementally changed until it bears little resemblance to its original form?
    (bonus points if one somehow uses the name “Van Halen” in their response)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    9,036
    Blog entries
    2
    We fear change....
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    6,068
    How to fail with change in two words:





































    New Coke©
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,953
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    How to fail with change in two words:

    New Coke©
    The words 'New Coke' are usually used in the context of great marketing fiascos, ....and it WAS a fiasco....... but the net effect of the incident actually ended up helping rather than hurting the Coca Cola Company. We studied it once in a marketing class.

    There is tons of information available on the internet about the infamous New Coke marketing campaign, but one source that tells the tale with surprising objectivity is THIS one.

    Yeah, the Coca Cola Company's own corporate web site!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Posts
    6,245
    Blog entries
    6
    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    How to fail with change in two words:


    New Coke©
    I've long thought that the "New Coke" introduction had an ulterior motive. The company wanted to change the formula of Coke by going from sugar as a sweetener to fructose. They introduced "New Coke" to broaden their menu of products but also to take the original off the market so people wouldn't notice the slightly fruiter taste of the newly formulated original formula.

    I vividly recall the first time I tasted Coke again after they brought it back. I was in a campground along the Guadeloupe River in Texas. My first sip I could tell the old formula was changed. I could taste the fructose right off. After a few cans I couldn't taste the difference anymore. Worked, I guess. Still drinking it.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,831
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    [
    What examples have you seen where something once great, tasty, creative, bold, or somehow otherwise good and wonderful, incrementally changed until it bears little resemblance to its original form?
    (bonus points if one somehow uses the name “Van Halen” in their response)
    Almost everything! Used to be, down here, you wanted long distance, you called Southern Bell, your only option. Now there are a gazillion land line choices, plans, plus cellular. Too many options.

    Air travel: used to be, it was "fun" experience. You dressed up, got a ticket, parked next to the terminal, got on the plane, ate a good meal, and landed. Now it's wait for 4 hrs for the delayed flight with a bunch of Hungarians with hairy backs in tank tops, no food on the flight, standing up for hours because there is no chivalry any more ( I could not believe all the young guys splayed out in chairs with their Ipods while old ladies stood for hours yesterday...) I'm not quite one of the old ladies, but I'm close.

    Losing weight: used to be, you got a diet book and cut back on calories because before then, you didn't have a clue what calories were in what foods. Now you have to mail order your food from a firm that employs an ex-wife of a Van Halen guy. Sheesh.

    (Extra points???)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Slightly Off-Center
    Posts
    8,260
    Back in the day, both Ford and Chevrolet brought out two-seater sports cars. Chevy's Corvette, while growing in size, power, & cost stayed true to the concept and still rolls. Ford, on the other hand, only stayed with the original two-seat Thunderbird for a couple years and then began to morph into a growing behemoth that died a slow and ugly death.

    Of course, then there's the Edsel, Ford's classic roadhog which was never a success although there is a rumor that Eddie Van Halen might have been conceived in the back seat of one.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    There once was a chain which originated in Kalamazoo called “Hot ‘n Now”.
    Huh. I didn't know Hot 'N Now started in Kalamazoo.

    Pretty much off topic, my apologies:
    It's so funny because when I was little my family would go from Lawton or Paw Paw to Arby's in Kalamazoo as a "special occasion." Shows ya how poor we were, Arby's being special and all.

  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,953
    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Back in the day, both Ford and Chevrolet brought out two-seater sports cars. Chevy's Corvette, while growing in size, power, & cost stayed true to the concept and still rolls. Ford, on the other hand, only stayed with the original two-seat Thunderbird for a couple years and then began to morph into a growing behemoth that died a slow and ugly death.
    True. And it's interesting to note that the one period where they did tinker with the Corvette basic formula - making smaller engines with less horsepower during the 70's - are also the models that did not appreciate in value like other years. In other words, you'd find someone like Eddie VanHalen driving a cool 1967 Corvette, whereas Sammy Hagar would probably drive a 1979 (yes, the real reason he couldn't drive 55 is because that model didn't go that fast)
    Last edited by Maister; 25 Jul 2008 at 9:15 AM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rockwood, MI
    Posts
    1,455

    Fat Cat

    While experiencing the joy of moving again, I found a "belt cassette player" w/am and fm radio, from the 70s that I used while running, This was state of the art at that time, Mrs Katt gave it to me as a present and she remembers paying about $100 for it at the time.

    The mp3 is a third of the size, has more songs and cost less,
    so change is not always a bad thing,

    In between I had a "belt cd player" that was always skipping while I ran, I dont remember the cost, but it was bulky.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327

    Desoto Dreams

    This Bear owned a couple Desoto automobiles. I had a 1958 Firedome and a 1959 Fireflite. These giant vehicles with huge powerplants under the hood had some details that were never really accepted by the American car-buying public.....

    Giant fins, with taillights
    Push-button automatic transmissions
    Interior rear-view mirror mounted on the dashboard
    _____

    Of course, they had huge back seats. I have a never-seen 41-year old son somewhere. Those two sentences are related.



    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. The nature of corniness
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 11 Feb 2010, 7:32 PM
  2. The nature of growth
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 4
    Last post: 08 Aug 2008, 1:01 PM
  3. The Nature of Things
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 13 Sep 2005, 2:59 PM
  4. Mother Nature
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 13 May 2003, 9:17 AM
  5. Communing with Nature
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 14
    Last post: 24 Jul 2002, 2:13 PM