Serving Is the New Selling


How can our channel assist consumers to make the most of their daily lives, versus the old model of selling them a lifestyle?

In June, 7-Eleven launched an update to its 7Now delivery app to include thousands of new locations—7Now Pins—so customers can order to public spaces. Items include food and drinks and other home goods. The service has real-time tracking, no minimum order, no timeof-day limitation, and consumers can expect to have orders delivered within 30 minutes. 7Now currently covers 27 urban areas in the U.S.

Who said convenience stores couldn’t get more convenient?

Two thoughts for you to ponder:
Convenience-loving consumers enjoying instant access to an ever-growing number of supporting services and tools (both offline and online), brands urgently need to hone their culture and focus on assisting consumers to make the most of their daily lives, versus the old model of selling them a lifestyle.

Here’s why consumers are embracing brands who serve:

  • For consumers, time, convenience, control and independence are the new currencies: this need requires direct selling companies and their field to turn from selling to “assisting.”
  • Consumers are longing for institutions that truly ‘care’ than being purely practical. This too requires brands to be more service-oriented in all facets.
  • On top of all of the above, the current mobile online revolution is shifting these consumer expectations even further into the always-on, instant gratification online arena.

For brands, this means that there are now endless creative and cost-effective ways to deliver on this need to assist rather than sell.


Wikipedia defines the third place as the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (“first place”) and the workplace (“second place”). Examples of third places would be environments such as churches, cafes, clubs, public libraries or parks.

Domino’s recently leveraged this idea and added a similar feature in 2018. If you’re hungry and hanging out at the beach and don’t want to move, then Domino’s will now deliver a pizza to you, even if you don’t have a full address to give, all via their website or mobile app.

More than 150,000 Domino’s “hotspots” are available in the U.S., including famous landmarks and recreation grounds such as the James Brown statue in Augusta, Georgia, and the Tommy Lasorda Field of Dreams baseball field in Los Angeles. Customers can choose a hotspot close by and provide instructions for delivery drivers to find them. They then get text messages updating them on progress, including the estimated time of arrival of their pizza.


This is yet another example that customer expectations are never satisfied or stand still. Think radically about expanding the means and variety your business can deliver. Busy, choiceladen and demanding consumers will reward brands that go the extra (last) mile. How will you out-convenient your competitors?

Consumers traditionally had pretty firm ideas about how locations (home, office, school, church, etc.) fit into their lives. Is this example a glimpse of a future with a less rigid designation of places? One where a park is more than a park, and a store is more than a store. Consumers can already use these locations to access more and more services, and perhaps eventually, whatever they need at a given moment. In a world of ubiquitous delivery the third place can be anywhere! How might this evolution impact your business?