My blogging cousin Steve has a nice theory, that there may be still a lot of money to be made selling potatoes. His argument is that targetting proven markets for products with a fresh take on quality or service (for example) may be much more promising than trying to convince prospective customers about a completely new value proposition.
I was thinking about this when I landed in Koh Samui earlier this week. We have all got so used to airports being, at best, something we suffer on the way to our end destination. I had given up thinking they could ever make me want to visit a particular locale. Until now…
Check out these pics of the Samui airport:
Instead of the usual authoritarian and impersonal setting, here was a facility that felt like it was a spruced-up leftover from the Fantasy Island set. From the cute tram/golf-cart/bus cross-breed transport from the plane to the terminal, to the Gilligan’s Island architecture, the invisible security, the fishtanks in the bathroom to the open-air set-up, it is a fantastic point of differentiation from so many other satisficing airports I’ve visiting.
Who runs it? The airline (Bangkok Airways) that has a stranglehold over the landing slots. They can clearly see the positive effect it has on customer perceptions.
Let’s hope some others embrace such mundane potato selling.