Friday, May 24, 2013
Where less actually more ...
My friend, Simon Douglas, tweeted a link to this site (screen grab above) ... which features a press release for a 'Micropub' in his local area.
Whilst I am tea-total the concept behind the 'Micropub' really got me thinking. They have, in many ways, turn their constraints into unique selling points.
It reminded me of this article on PSFK.com :: http://www.psfk.com/2012/04/donut-shop-closes-early.html :: about a donut shop in Chicago that opens at 8:30 AM Tuesdays through Fridays and 9:30 AM on Saturdays and then closes after their last donut is sold ... usually 1 or 2 hours later.
Now ... I am not one to frequent pubs too often but I do go to coffeeshops regularly. I mainly go for two things - coffee and conversation - usually with friends from work or with my family.
As Starbucks have stopped celebrating all their various blends and other providers (aka Tinderbox and Beanscene) only offer one blend of filter ... I go mainly for the conversation these days ... but I can relate to the Micropub's assertion that they are about 'just good ale and conversation'. I get this. I get the need for space(s) set aside for conversation. In fact, I think it is vital.
I do find this 'Micropub' a strangely compelling proposition considering how it would seek to completely limit my choice ... UNLESS ... I am there for 'good ale and conversation' and 'good ale and conversation' only.
It's like the food and drink equivalent of a Kindle or an iPod Classic ... it does one thing and it does this one thing really well. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles ... no TV or music or hot food ... and focusses on ale and cider predominately.
For a small group of people, this would be heaven on earth ... a peaceful oasis from the noise of everyday life. For others, however, this would be seriously dull.
But that's the point ... they are working to please their niche ... working to appeal to and attract the small minority of folks for whom a pint and a blether in a peaceful atmosphere is ALL they are after. They don't care if you think it is dull ... they don't care because it's not your thing. All they care about is pleasing their niche.
I like that.
I like their boldness.
I like niches.
I am a niche.
I personally think we need more niche products. I think we need more things that do less ... things that don't do too much but focus on doing what they do really, really well.
I wonder what other things would benefit from this kind of 'less is more' approach? Instead of trying to be all things to all men ... maybe we should focus on the niche and serve a smaller group more attentively?
Not to exclude anyone, though. Just a thing that says 'this is what I am ... take it or leave it' ... that then lets the consumer make the choice.
I think this would be refreshing ... and would be real choice.
After all that's said and done, however ... I do think the 'Micropub' would be better with music ... preferably music from weareallghosts and other ambient netlabels ... but then that's just me.