Blog Header
The Insights Blog

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

Is Your Consumer Experience Is Full Of Jitneys?

Imagine you are on your way to JFK airport in New York to take a short flight from NY to Chicago.

Once you make it through security, you walk to the end and encounter a sign inviting you to take something called a “JFK Jitney” to your gate. At the bottom of the escalator, you discover that this “jitney” is actually a shuttle bus designed to take passengers from one terminal to the next.

It is safe to say I travel often enough to describe myself as a professional traveler, so confusing signs like this rarely slow me down. Navigating security lines has become routine for me. I rarely check a bag, and I have probably encountered just about every travel related mode of transportation at an airport possible.

delta-jfkYesterday when I waited for the jitney in the airport lounge, I saw a very confused looking young European couple trying to figure out where to go or what they were about to do. They spoke English but were in a foreign environment. For them, the jitney was an unneeded confusion.

I watched them wait a few seats away from me, and saw the signs of relief on their faces when they realized that a jitney was basically a bus.  To tell the truth, I was kind of relieved about that myself.  I’m not stupid, and neither were they.  Yet that small piece of our travel experience was needlessly confusing.

starbucks-cupsThe travel experience is full of “jitneys” like this. From now on when I encounter a sign or process that is not as simple as it could be, I’m going to remember this jitney.  You should too.

Too many consumer experiences are built with jitneys as well. The problem is, we are tempted to look at brands that have done it well and think we can do the same thing.  Starbucks makes consumers order a Tall, Venti or Grande instead of Small, Medium or Large. Those cup sizes are now iconic because Starbucks is everywhere.

hashbrowns-wafflehousePopular regional restaurants like Waffle House have time honored ways of ordering menu items – like getting hash browns scattered (grilled), smothered (with onions), and covered (with cheese).  For those few examples, it works because it is part of their brand personality.

Unfortunately, the world is far more filled with brands trying to be a little too clever with how they describe their experiences, and frustrated consumers are just struggling to keep up. What if your experience is a little less like a Venti coffee and a little more like that confusing shuttle bus?

Improving your customer experience sometimes means choosing simplicity over cuteness. This happens to particularly be true when your target audience is mostly made up of half awake travelers just trying to make it to their gates on time.

At 5am, no one wants a jitney.

Leave a Comment

Vector Smart Object

About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

Rohit Bhargava About (1)

Speaking

Do you need a speaker that can help your audience be more innovative and anticipate the future?

For more than a decade, Rohit Bhargava has been inspiring audiences at NASA, Disney, Schwab, Microsoft, SXSW, Coca-Cola and hundreds of other clients with his signature non-obvious keynote presentations. He is a master at weaving recent stories into his talks in a way that helps audiences better understand the world today, while also preparing to lead the future.

Non Obvious Insights
Layer 97
Non Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.

Books

#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object

Contact

Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message