Monday, October 13, 2008


The October 2008 briefing at focuses on how businesses can think about providing their customers with  “genuinely interesting and unexpected benefits and privileges that will delight some or all” of them.  Trendwatching calls this PERKONOMICS, and for a growing number of businesses, it goes well beyond access to a fancy airport lounge.

PERKONOMICS: A new breed of perks and privileges, added to brands' regular offerings, is satisfying consumers’ ever-growing desire for novel forms of status and/or convenience, across all industries. The benefits for brands are equally promising: from escaping commoditization, to showing empathy in turbulent times. One to have firmly on your radar in 2009. 

The museum industry has the ability to offer some pretty great perks, and some of the tried-and-true ones include behind-the-scenes tours, access to exhibitions before they open to the public, shop discounts and passport programs.  And then there’s fast-lane admittance for members to blockbusters at many major art museums and convenience parking for hybrid cars at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. 

What perkonomics are at play at the board level, in committees, or among staff for that matter?  Despite the fact that people say they serve and work in this field for the “work itself”, would applying perkonomics to these segments result in greater diversity of boards, staff and volunteers, and higher levels of performance?  If an organization’s leadership could deliver consistently on rich idea generation leading to quality decision-making using the lenses of vision and mission to provide focus, wouldn’t that be a pretty good starting point? 

Photo:  1 AM at the Museum of Science and Industry by Kim Scarborough, Flickr 

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