Posts Tagged ‘Be Different’

Pike's Place Fish Market in Seattle

While in Seattle I had a chance to watch and see what makes Pike’s Place Fish Market different from the other markets within Pike’s Place. Be original.

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a city that has been on my “To Visit” list for quite some time. That city was sunny Seattle. I had the pleasure of speaking at the Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC) annual conference on Social Media Monitoring (my slides can be found below, if you care to look).

One spot I knew I had to stop while there was Pike’s Place Fish Market. While working for Washington Mutual, I was exposed to one of the many corporate training videos that deals with this small fish market. In the mid to late 80’s, Pike’s PLace Fish Market was in trouble. It was on the brink of bankruptcy but the owner and employees knew they had something special. It was then that they decided to become world-famous. That is no small feat. How could a little fish stand in a city known for seafood become world-famous, let alone a tourist destination?

Be Original

Much like Steve Jobs and Apple, this little fish stand decided that they wanted to be different. The staff decided to bring some personality to the stand. What started as an idea to save the company became a new way to look at business. It wasn’t about the fish or how fresh it was, it was about the experience. It started with throwing the fish from the display case to the packaging area when a customer placed an order and it grew into a show. The employees have fun with what they do. They enjoy their work. How many businesses can truly say that about their employees?

Being different from the other 3 or 4 fish stand in the Pike’s Place Market, and the city of Seattle in general, saved this little stand from bankruptcy. It has inspired many managers to work in a completely different way than they previously thought. It has inspired many employees to bring something extra to work and really learn to enjoy what they do. Check out this clip from one of the motivational videos about this stand and you will see what makes them stand out.

If your business is struggling, what can you do to save it? How can you think differently about what you offer? Much like the fish market, they realized that fish could be a secondary product and getting people to the stand needed to be the first priority. This turned the employees into entertainers. You may not be able to entertain your customers, but you surely can be original in how you do your business.