The best/worst ever

You can’t go very long in life without hearing someone say, “this is the worst (or best) [insert experience here] I’ve ever had.”

A few weeks ago, I caught myself saying the same thing about my most recent haircut – that it was the worst I’ve ever had.

I’ve been giving the same directions to barbers for 20 years, and there’s never been one question, and they’ve followed the directions to a tee. And my average haircut time is usually 15 to 20 minutes.

This guy had about 10 questions and it took him nearly an hour. When he was finished, it was definitely the worst haircut I had ever had – from experience to time spent to final product.

Then I got to thinking about that. I’ve been around nearly 17,000 days, and that’s a lot of haircuts to measure against. So think about when people make those kinds of assessments about meals.

For me, that’s essentially 17,000 dinners I’m judging against. If I decide a meal is the best I’ve ever had, or even the best spaghetti, lamb chop or potsticker I’ve ever had, that’s still judging against a huge number of prior meals.

Being a marketer, I got to thinking what it really takes to create a product, service or experience that would make one say it’s the best (or worst) they’ve ever had.

Obviously, I’m being very literal in my thinking about this. But thinking conceptually, don’t you want to create the “best” experience, product or service (or all of the above) that someone has ever had?

Yes, it’s difficult, but given the numbers, isn’t it all the more satisfying when you’re hard work, dedication and innovation results in someone making that claim?

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