#PIEshow2017: “Wearing a Funny Hat’


#PIEshow2017: “Wearing a Funny Hat’

As I write, it’s been a few days since we returned home from #PIEshow2017 in Chicago. I can’t stop using the hashtag, because this year, more than ever, Twitter was a huge part of the Exhibition and Conference.

PT Columnist Kathleen Laney of Laney Solutions and Bob Harkins of the University of Texas at Austin wowed attendees with their presentation on Social Media and Parking on the last day in Chicago.

Both during their presentation and the second part of Keynoter Paul Barter address, the #PIEshow2017 was buzzing. To the point that people not at the seminars and spread across the U.S. and beyond were asking questions and making comments in real-time during the session.

The same thing happened with our first keynote, from Michael Houlihan, Co-Founder of Barefoot Wines, the largest wine brand in the world. His seminar was titled: “You Can Sell More Wearing a Funny Hat!”

The Twitter world was abuzz!!!

There were four major points in Houlihan’s talk, and the last one was the trump card: “Salt and Pepper,” “Cheaper Than Bob and the Pig.”

Salt and pepper – for Barefoot, it was red and white. What the customer needs or wants. Red or white wine? App or a credit card? On- or off-street parking? More to the point, recognize the needs of the specific market.

Does the market need more than two options? Nothing fancy.

That “Bob” guy is Robert Mondavi – Houlihan and his partner were asked to offer product that was cheaper than Mondavi wine. Not the cheapest, but cheaper than the market leader. And “the Pig” had an appeal. That’s the big double-size 1.5L bottle of wine. Be sure you provide what the customer needs, Houlihan said. Make it easy for them to buy.

And the trump card? The bottom-shelf aspect.

Barefoot started to sell in 100s of stores in Florida. Great news. Yet, the bad news was that the stores offered it on the bottom shelves – the Gobi Desert of supermarket display. Houlihan decided that wasn’t that bad, because there is no comparison. And comparison kills.

So Houlihan offered the shape of bare footsteps for the floors of the stores. Those footsteps led to that bottom shelf. You can’t look always look up when the signage is on the floor.

What’s on your bottom shelf? What is your salt and pepper? What is your “cheaper than Bob” and your Pig? Are you willing to think outside the box and put some footprints on the ground so that your product sells?

We want your input

The PT Funny Hat Team wants to hear from you and be of assistance to you. Yes, #PIEshow2017 was great, but you haven’t seen anything yet! PIE seminars teach us how to be the best sources of information, inspiration and service in the parking industry. Wait till you see what’s in store for PIE 2018!

“Salt and Pepper,” “Cheaper Than Bob” and the “Pig.”

Please send your “Cheaper Than Bob,” “Bottom Shelf,” “Salt and Pepper” and “Pig” input to my email below. How does your organization reflect these ideas?

Astrid Ambroziak is Editor of PT’s Parknews.biz and Parking Today Media’s reader ambassador. Contact her at astrid@parkingtoday.com. And check out her work daily on Parknews.biz.

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Astrid Ambroziak
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