Why “Premium Select” Fudge Mint Cookies Are Like Websites

My work received a wonderful gift basket today, full of chocolate, crackers, cheese, and cookies.

I spotted a black and gold foil box, specially die-cut to resemble a bow with real creme-colored ribbons closing each end. It read in a flowery, gold-foil font, “Premium Select Double Chocolate Fudge Mint Creme COOKIES.”

My mouth watered, and I anticipated a decadent chocolate-mint experience unlike any I’d ever experienced before. I carefully opened the beautiful box. Two thick chocolate mounds poured out from the box, wrapped in clear plastic packaging. I was already underwhelmed: only two cookies?

I grabbed my treasure and headed back to my desk. I eagerly took a guiltless bite (Brett and I and exercised this morning).

To my surprise, the cookie was nothing more than an ordinary double-stuff mint Oreo covered in milk chocolate. Haven’t I bought two dozen of these cookies for $2.99 at Wal-Mart?

Not long after, I realized that this experience parallels Web companies. Many companies develop Websites that are average at best, and yet when they are first presenting to the potential client, they hide their mediocrity behind flashy presentations and slick salespeople. They promise “Premium Select” Websites, but after they’ve got the client under the contract, the product is just ordinary cookies, and probably not even Oreo quality.

As many of you, part of what Brett’s company does is build Websites; I’m proud to say that when he meets with a potential client, he seeks to understand what they need and what they want. He doesn’t bring in a lot of expensive packaging and big words, but he does know how to deliver the something that is “Premium Select” if you want pay for it.

By the way, if the box had said, “Chocolate-Covered Oreos,” I probably still would have ate it and enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t have thought it was expensive. How many companies sacrifice long-term gain for short-term riches?

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