Beyond naming snowstorms like hurricanes, in their quest to be uber-cool, they've introduced a feature on their website that suggests when precipitation will arrive at your house. Wrong every friggin' time. So, why do they insist on proving to their fans that they're clueless?
But, more cringe-worthy is their foray into the world of "news." Click on the Weather Channel home page and you'll get stories about mass graves in Texas and kids falling off a canyon precipice. And, beyond that, they Cantore-ize it with headlines like "Horrific" to suck people in to a story that is, in reality, just sad.
WTF does that have to do with the weather?
I get what the quasi-braniacs behind the site are shooting for...but, honestly? It don't hunt.
We go to the Weather Channel for...wait for it...the WEATHER!
And their core audience? We're likely searching for another option...because they have so lost sight of who and what they are. And what we want.
I was honored to facilitate a summit of a DMO and their 6 marketing partners last week. By the end of the two-day retreat, my head was swirling with the collective consciousness of these exceptionally smart marketers.
There were a lot of great one-offs during the two days of ideation (and laughter).
My favorite: "When will the new website be finished?"
40% of us don't take vacations because of the mountain of work that will await us upon our return. Roughly 3 in 10 don't take time off in order to show their boss complete dedication to their job. And 22% fear that taking a vacation will prove they are replacable.
What has happened to a country that used to revel in our time off? Work hard and play harder?
We recently did some reearch for a DMO on like-organization compensation that indicated that, among its peer set, the average CEO was accorded 4 weeks vacation.
And, in its effort to curb tarmac imprisonments, the federal government has made it worse. If there's even a chance that a flight could be delayed more than an hour or two, it's safer for the airline to cancel said flight than risk the fines that come from not being on time.
Thus, two of my last three flights home have resulted in an extra overnight to wait for my rebooked reservation. Hey, it's summer (wait...shouldn't I be saying that in winter?).
So, I shake it off, keep my blood pressure contained...and look for a culinary reward for my pain of not getting home tonight.
And, damned if I haven't found some of the most interesting restaurants on those "free" nights off. In Myrtle Beach, it was the amazing "Mrs. Fish." And, earlier this week, it was Nakato in Springfield MO.
A quick check of Yelp showed that this Japanese steak house and sushi palace was the highest rated independent restaurant within 3 miles of my hotel. The reviews were stunning. The recommendations of the "Hope" sushi made my mouth water. And, sitting at the sushi bar, watching the three itamaes work their magic, I had to chuckle at my good fortune that United was so scared of its own shadow that I got to enjoy such an unexpected experience.
I only wish I had discovered this find years ago. One of the itamaes told me the wooden toy boats that circled the sushi station (see picture above) used to carry samples. For a price, it was an all-you-can-eat sushi smorgasbord as diners would pay the fare and pick off delicacies as they came around the bend.
"Unsustainable," my itamae informed me. "Too much waste...we had to toss everything that hadn't been eaten every hour."
True dat...but what a bitchin' idea.
Hey, could we design mini-cooling units in those boats?
Just a thought...
In or near Springfield (or Charlotte)? Go. And...yeah, get the Hope.
Part of the problem of basing decisions on facts is that facts ain't what they used to be. Facts today are twisted, shaded and repurposed. The internet is the new arbiter of facts. And, as Abraham Lincoln famously said, you can't trust everything you read on the internet.
Sadly, I don't have the time to verify many of them. But, when they come from a trusted source...we tend to take them at face value.
But, it's not disruption that I oppose. Hell, I disrupted the DMO consultancy world 19 years ago. I preach disruption. Just not when it compromises the needs of the many.
And, that was my fear. That Uber, providing a much better experience than traditional cabs, could negatively impact taxi service to the sketchier parts of town if it caused a cab company or two to fail.
Here was my conceit: I was operating from the position that most cab companies were required to service their entire community 24/7. Every street. Every neighborhood. Like it is here in Madison.
I recently sat down with one of my City Council members to discuss his efforts to allow Uber to co-exist with the licensed cab companies. And his research shows that there are only 9 cities in America that require cabs to service every neighborhood 24/7.
True? I don't know...but I have no reason to question someone that has done way more research and spent considerably more time on this issue than I.
So, if Scott is right...my concern is considerably tempered.
But, it begs another concern. What the hell are the rest of your cities thinking? Not requiring 24/7 to every neighborhood as a requirement of your cab companies to be licensed?
Then, why (outside of a revenue stream) are you licensing them?
There are lots of analogies about being ahead of the curve. The most famous is probably the quote from hockey legend Wayne Gretzky who once said he didn't skate to where the puck was...but to where it would be.
The FAA, watching the disruption the sharing economy has wrought in the lodging and taxi spaces, has moved to staunch the thought of those who thought it would be a good idea to bring the sharing economy to point-to-point aviation.