31 Flavors of RPO

Nearly three-quarters of a century ago, two brothers-in-law shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream store that would be a neighborhood gathering place for families. Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins had a mutual love of old-fashioned ice cream and the desire to provide customers a variety of flavors made with ingredients of the highest quality in a fun, inviting atmosphere. The result was Baskin-Robbins.

Baskin-Robbins is known for its “31 flavors” slogan. The idea for having so many flavors came from an advertising agency. Also, 31 was more than the 28 flavors then famously offered at Howard Johnson’s restaurants. In addition, the number 31 was chosen so a customer could have a different flavor every day of any month. Burt and Irv also believed that people should be able to sample flavors until they found one they wanted to buy ― hence the iconic small pink spoon.

While no service provider wants clients taste testing new Recruitment Process Outsourcing models every day, week or month, there is a key take away from Baskin-Robbins for RPO sellers and buyers.

The lesson is that customized, client-centric recruiting solutions are critical to success. When RPO firms try to force feed standardized vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry services, they may succeed in a few instances; however, the vast majority of savvy RPO buyers require something more complex and targeted, like Creole Cream Cheese, Cherries Jubilee, or Daiquiri Ice (Justin Timberlake’s favorite).

While flavors may have commonalities and share ingredients, creating a new flavor customer by customer is essential. Further as a client’s tastes (needs) change introducing new flavors is equally critical to long term viability.

As Irv Robbins once said:
“Not everyone likes all our flavors, but each flavor is someone’s favorite.”

****Special thanks to Greg Summers, Pinstripe Sales Director, for the blog idea****

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