This post is adapted from my article which originally published in Chief Executive before last year’s Super Bowl.  The observations still apply, particularly since the organization mentioned in here has not changed practices.

The Super Bowl is almost here, and with it, the media scrutiny of thousands of journalists who cover the event.

seahawks and pats

All eyes are on the Patriots and Seahawks, and their eyes are on each other—preparing strategies, refining playbooks (and checking the inflation on those footballs).

In business, every company has its version of the big game, a “Super Bowl moment.”  It’s a make or break time when planning is paramount and every employee must be revved up.

For retailers, that moment is Black Friday. This day the kicks off the holiday season which generates about 1/3 of annual revenue in the retail business. On this past Black Friday, I went to a local Staples store to buy a few items.

Simple enough?  No. The customer experience was horrible. An inexperienced cashier fumbled the handling of my rebate check, had a poor attitude and with 4-5 other errors the entire experience – which should have taken one minute – took twenty five and left me feeling cold. This particular Staples store blew their Super Bowl Moment.

Hopefully this store was a atypical for the chain.  With nearly 1,900 locations in North America, Staples generates an estimated $1.5 billion in revenue on Black Friday weekend. If only a tiny fraction of their customers had equally poor experience as me, the impact on their business would be significant.  It begs the question:  what are your company’s Super Bowl moments and how can you prepare?

Some considerations:

  • Define the levers that drive your customer experience, quantify the impact of each lever on sales and then improve them accordingly. Particularly in planning for Big Game Day.
  • Think about how your best laid plans can come undone and how can you mitigate against those risks.
  • How can plans for Super Bowl moments be operationalized—and be part of your knitting every day (for your regular season).

There’s no excuse for poor performances during Super Bowl moments.  With proper planning and excellent execution, every day can be a big game victory.