Minimal Change: Provide that to Customers, Get Rich

The Minimal Change industry. That might be the name you can give the new kind of service or product you offer customers and clients who long for things to be as they once were.

Actually, as Calvin Trillin describes in The New Yorker, this approach to business isn't new, at least not in much of New Orleans. Unlike what you might be hearing at Google or Apple, when New Orleans folks refer to the 'c' word, that is change, it's usually in reference to how they are effectively avoiding it. Trillin noticed a sign on a bar in that city which read, 'New Parasol's owners promise minimal changes for the legendary bar and restaurant.'

Clearly, there's a market for providing customers and clients the promise of permanence. That could take the form of branding services or products as traditional, unchanged by time, just as they remember. Part of that used to be known as nostalgia. As the recovery takes hold, people will tend to feel that they can again indulge the desire to return to an easier, happier time.

Hallmark Inc. used to excel in that niche, ranging from its television programs to its greeting cards. But its influence in the category seems to have been weakened by ambivalence about being traditional. The trick for your business is to be 100 percent confident in the value of minimal change. Think about it: isn't that the platform of the Republican party and isn't that the way it shapes its comebacks to power.

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