Wawa Succeeds With Experience-Based Differentiation

I’m always on the lookout for leaders who seem to understand and apply the principles of Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD). So in this post I want to highlight some of the comments by Howard Stoeckel, CEO of Wawa.

Wawa is a convenience-store chain saw its merchandise sales grow last year.  How does this private company with 8,000 employees and more than $5 billion succeed in the recession? By focusing on Experience-Based Differentiation (EBD).

This recent quote from Stoeckel represents a great example of the second principle of EBD, Reinforce the brand with every interaction, not just communications:

If there’s anything that we’re doing through these challenging times, it’s digging deeper into the soul of the brand. We’ve got to do what we’re known for that much better.

In another quote from Stoeckel, we see an excellent example of the third principle of EBD, Treat customer experience as a competence, not a function:

When we ask customers what do they like about Wawa, they say, ‘We like your people.’ And when we ask them, ‘What is it that you like about our people?’ it’s that our people like each other – and customers get caught up in that experience.

The bottom line: EBD is even more important in this economic environment