Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nah We Don't Wanna Sell You Anything!

As I've mentioned before (and you'll find 'em in my sidebar's Un-Sponsor list) I train exclusively with Gatorade Endurance Formula.  It's what most of my races serve at aid stations and it agrees with me just fine.  I've never bonked, gotten dehydrated or suffered an upset tummy.  What more can you ask from a performance beverage?

But just try to buy the stuff.  Gatorade's distribution strategy seems perversely limited to as few retail outlets as possible.  The large, mega-plex grocery store a few towns over doesn't stock it but I thought, maybe, they'd special-order 3-4 cases at a time for me.  Wrong.  It's not on their supply chain's "approved" list.  Can't get it.  Won't try.  A local bike shop MAY have it but they don't know who that'd be or where they are.  Jerkwads.

My real job involves cajoling organizations of all shapes and sizes to cast off a lot of growth-inhibiting bad habits, most of which are loaded with reasonable-sounding, well-intentioned justifications.  "Well, our supply chain makes us more efficient and saves us lots of money and we meet MOST customers' needs just fine and everyone else is doing it and our stockholders expect us to...blah blah blah."  I must've missed that "MBA Double-Speak Head-Up-Your-Own-Ass" class in business school though it seems half the world took it twice.  I'm just a simpleton, apparently, a simpleton wanting to spend a few hundred dollars on a sports drink and finding it amusing how few takers there are. Silly me.
But I'm smart enough to know that meeting customer needs is how small organizations grow to be big, and sale-avoiding BS justifications are how big organizations deservedly fade to black.  Now, where's that bike shop?  And, Gatorade, if you're listening...WTF?

1 comment:

Spokane Al said...

I hear you. Prior to this year's IM CDA I thought I would buy some Endurance formula just to make sure it worked for me. Stupidly, I just thought I could go to the nearest store and purchase some. I found that there is no place in this city or part of the state that sells it. Its online or not at all - at least in this part of the country.