Yesterday, we had a customer come into our southwest Calgary store to buy a pair of shoes. He wanted to use them for tennis, volleyball and dodgeball. He only wanted to buy one pair of shoes.
We started, of course, with questions so that we could determine his needs. Q: Where do you play tennis? A: Indoor at The Tennis Academy and outdoors on public courts. Q: What kind of floor do they have where you play volleyball? A: Hardwood. Q: What kind of floor do they have where you play dodgeball? A: Rubberized all-court surface.
So here we have a client who plays on three different surfaces: acrylic, hardwood and rubberized all-court. Normally, we would recommend carbon rubber for acrylic, natural organic rubber for hardwood and synthetic rubber for all-court. But in this case, the customer wants to buy one shoe that will work in all contexts. So what do we do?
Quite simply, all we can so is offer information on the pros and cons. We cannot, in this case, make a recommendation. Carbon rubber will stand up well on acrylic, but it may be dangerously slippery on hardwood. Natural organic rubber provides excellent traction on hardwood, but will quickly be ground down by acrylic. Synthetic rubber offers the best all around compromise, but offers poor traction on hardwood and poor durability on acrylic.
In the end, the customer tried on more than a dozen pair of shoes in two sizes. Some were rejected on price. Some were rejected on colour. Some were rejected on comfort/fit. Eventually, it came down to two pair: Adidas ™ Barricade Court at $95.00 and Yonex ™ SHT PRO at $150.00. Our expectation was that he would opt for the cheaper shoes.
So what did he do? After 20 minutes of thoughtful consideration, after switching both pair back and forth, one on the left, one on the right. After much pacing and dancing around the store playing imaginary dodgeball, he chose the Yonex SHT PRO. His words: “They just feel better in every way. They just feel like a better shoe. Normally I wouldn’t bother paying the extra 50 bucks, but these just feel like they are worth more.”