Fitting the criteria that I set

February 14, 2011 by

About 2 years ago, I became what some call a weekday vegetarian. I’ve limited my meat intake because it just seemed better for my overall health. My body responded better and I began to feel better, simply by eating less meat and eating more vegetables. I was actually surprised at how little I missed meat………with one exception. I missed cheeseburgers. Nothing beats a good burger. Even a bad burger isn’t so bad. I mean, how bad can you screw up a burger?

Luckily, I have easy access to burgers. Within my neighborhood, there are more than 30 bars and restaurants located in a 3 block radius. Most of these serve some variation of the classic cheeseburger. So…..what would get me to drive 45 minutes for a cheeseburger? And, why would I convince a friend to join me when we have so many options in our neighborhood? Did I mention we drove from my home in the middle of the afternoon…..during a rainstorm?

Our destination was Elevation Burger. Elevation Burger is a small burger chain that bills their burgers as 100% organic. Their grass fed, free range beef is ground at each restaurant location.

Why did this matter to me?

Once I changed my eating behavior, I began to watch documentaries on the meat industry in the US. I started to get concerned about how meats arrive from the farm to the grocery store and onto my plate. On those occasions when I choose to eat meat, 'organic’ is now a factor in my selection criteria.

But honestly, that’s only one reason why I drove with a buddy 45 minutes, in the middle of the afternoon, during a rainstorm, for a five-dollar burger when I could have easily walked 5 minutes from my home for a comparable product. The other reason why I made this trek and convinced my buddy to join me can be summed up in one sentence.

The burgers are outstanding.

I don’t eat beef regularly. When I do, I don’t want a good burger anymore. I want a GREAT burger. Plus, I want the beef raised in a manner that minimized the concerns I have. The pricing should be “reasonable” as defined by me however that is not the biggest consideration. The actual product is the most important consideration. The burgers have to be outstanding. It isn’t enough that the burgers are organic. Multiple criteria have to be met for me to make a buying decision. Elevation Burgers fit the criteria that I set.

Whether purchases are regular or infrequent, each of us has a process for making a buying decision. Individuals, and organizations, have products we’ll go out of our way to obtain. These must meet the criteria we set without being easily replaced or substituted. When products can be substituted with minimal difference in perceived value, price usually becomes the tiebreaker. Essentially, a customer purchases your product until your competitor offers a better deal. There's no consideration of brand loyalty because there's no discernible differentiating factors.

What are the compelling reasons for individuals or organizations to select your product or service versus the competition?

Do your customers believe your product or service is outstanding?