Once upon a time, there was a hut serving lovely tea & cakes. People didn’t mind paying higher price for them because they saw how special the delicacies were. They told their friends, who in turn told their friends. Over time, the cup-&-cake hut grew to be the place to be. It attracted many competitors. One day, the owner, a young wizard, asked The Soup Witches to help him handle them.
The witches went to the hut & saw signs splattered on the outside walls:
Those other huts stole my idea! They are evil copycats! -read one,
People who like the cola-&-cakes hut are not welcomed here! No outside food either! -went another.
Give me your bad comments in private! Why embarrass me in public? -read the next one, large & loud.
The witches sat down, had tea (their own soup would be considered as outside food) & took a closer look at how the wizard treated his customers. He received compliments with a wide smile, but brushed off advice & complaints- even polite ones. They spoke to customers & found that many of them loved the hut, but other places offered delicious new flavors that they also found delightful.
Come afternoon, the witches sat with the wizard & asked him some questions:
- “What have you done to make sure copycats won’t pose a threat to you?”
- “Have you registered your designs as yours so that you can take actions against those who imitate?”
- “How do you handle comments & advice from your customers?”
- “How do your customers experience your goodies?”
The wizard turned purple in the face.
“Those fake cake huts are stealing my ideas!” -said he. “I went to all of the copycat huts & told them off!” He puffed. “There were people who told their friends about how my cakes haven’t been as good as they were before. How rude! If I were too grumpy sometimes, they could’ve slipped a discreet note to me, couldn’t they? Rather than telling all their friends about it! I won’t have them in here any more!”
He insisted, “I’ve done everything, but the copycats are still up & about!” However, he admitted that he had not:
- registered his cake designs,
- worked on creating new recipes AND designs,
- welcomed advice & comments (the witches saw that themselves)
- ‘been bothered’ about ‘these pie-in-the-sky ideas about customers & experiences’.
The witches were silent for a long while. Then they asked the wizard to follow them. He was puzzled that the witches didn’t give him the advice he wanted, but he was curious, so he agreed.
And off they went…