I visited a restaurant for the first time with two Brainzooming clients (and good friends). The sign outside featured chicken noodle soup as the daily special. Inside, one member of our group stepped to the counter. She ordered the chicken noodle soup as I stood behind her watching.

To my surprise, the person serving her at Wrap It Up began inquiring about what ingredients she’d like to include in her chicken noodle soup. 

What ingredients she’d like in the soup? Huh?

I can’t recall if she mentioned chicken as an ingredient up for customization. Noodles were an option, though, as my friend ordered rice instead of noodles, along with the standard complement of vegetables. She declined including sour cream. For the last step, the person serving her ladled chicken broth into the bowl and voilà, Chicken Soup, customized to her wishes.


Having prepared a lot of soup managing the restaurant that my parents owned, it never occurred to me to customize soup. The broth was the first thing into the pot. The main ingredients followed. If somebody wanted to add crackers to the soup (or maybe ketchup or barbecue sauce for chili) they were welcome to do so. We didn’t customize any central ingredients in the kitchen, though, because once something was in the broth, it wasn’t coming out.

We never imagined this restaurant’s innovative approach: placing the ingredient that ends the opportunity for customization and introducing it LAST. When you make that change, though, suddenly everything becomes very customizable based on the user preference

Is your organization struggling with introducing greater customization to what you offer?

Take a cue from this restaurant’s formula: change the order of your processes so that whatever ends the customization window becomes the last step. With that change, you can turn standard products and services into ones that fit each user’s preference right in the moment. – Mike Brown

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The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your brand’s innovation strategy and implementation success.

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