LIFESTYLE STORES SHOW YOU HOW Studies have shown that it takes 7 times the effort to build a new customer compared to retaining an existing one. Now with that as a background visualise a buyer who after a ‘feel good’ purchase of Rs. 20K walks to the billing counter. He is expected to be ‘delighted’. Remember the new anthem of ‘Delight’ your customer not just ‘satisfy’ him? And boom! The cashier pops the question. “Sir do you want a carry bag”? Customer:“Yes, of course”. “It will cost you Rs.7 sir”, comes the completely stoic reply. The pride owner is now suddenly a mere request seeking bystander. “Can’t you give me one free” he mutters. .”No sir, you have to pay”. The cashier is even more firm than before! This is the crux of building or killing a brand. The company could very well afford to part with Rs.7, even if it had already not factored it into the purchase. Rather than delighting the customer with some surprise unexpected offer, the store has literally wrecked its customer development program in one nano second. Brand Building is a constant minute to minute focussed activity. Every touch points matters. To build is gruelling but hugely rewarding. But to kill could be instantaneous.