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Pepsi, Leno, and Choice

Place a Coke and a Pepsi in front of me, ask me to choose one, and I will always pick the Coke. Restaurants offer a different scenario.  They typically carry either only Coke or Pepsi.  When I go out to eat I always ask for a Coke, but if the restaurant carries Pepsi, I happily drink it without question.  I enjoy both, but given the choice I like Coke better.

The same has applied to late night comedy for me as well.  I am a “David Letterman Guy.”  When I was in 6th grade, I would secretly stay up until 1:30 cracking up from watching Dave.  Stupid Pet Tricks, Stupid Human Tricks, Bite Me, Larry Bud Melman, Super Dave, The World’s Most Dangerous Band – all provided the fodder for my classroom comedy routine the following day.  For years I was forced to choose between Letterman and Leno, and the choice was obvious for me – Dave.  I think the guy is hilarious.  Thus I have never been a regular follower of Jay.  In the context of either / or, I chose Dave.

All that said I am strangely happy that Jay Leno will be on television at 10:00pm starting this fall.  I have digital rabbit ears on my tv, and that means not many options for comedy at that hour.  These days, I rarely see 11:30pm, as life and the responsibilities of adulthood have pushed me toward a little earlier time for slumber.  Generally I find myself  turning on re-runs of whatever sitcom I can find at 10:00pm, and then slowly drifting off to sleep.  The only other choices for this time slot are murder shows and the news – basically the same thing.  I like to end the day with a laugh, so the sitcom rerun becomes a natural choice. For whatever reason, I find the white television light and sound of the laugh track conducive to falling asleep with a smile on my face.   Now I will have something new to entertain me every night.  Jay is like Pepsi to me.  I like Coke better, but if I can’t get Coke it will do just fine.    It will be nice to have live television and new comedy to entertain me nightly at an hour that is conducive to my work schedule.  So until Dave moves to 10:00, I will be giving Jay a shot at making me laugh.

With regard to your business, is it possible to “remove the choice” in order to reach new customers?  Can you offer a new service, deliver a new concept, or simply modify your hours to reach those who you might not be reaching now?  If a Letterman fan is willing to watch Leno simply because it is on earlier, what might you be able do with a little tweaking?  How can you change the rules of the game to attract new customers who might not have previously chosen you?  Worth a thought.

Also worth noting: at that hour it is more likely that I will be drinking a beer or an ice water, and not a Coke. 🙂