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a blog by Chris Barrow

One word can make all the difference

I recently bought myself a new Macbook Air and a carrying case to protect it.

From the Apple web site the choice I made was a "von Holzhausen MacBook Sleeve for 13” MacBook" at £69.95 (because I'm worth it).

The sleeve in question is supplied in "Vegan Leather".

I mentioned this to Annie and, every direct, she replied "so that's fake leather then?"

I notice that the Michael Hyatt Company, makers of the Full Focus Planner, have just introduced a loose-leaf version (echoes of the original Franklin Covey system), that once more is supplied in a "vegan leather" option.

The switch from "fake" to "vegan" changes the story from:

  • You are a cheapskate who doesn't want to invest in the real thing;


  • You are environmentally conscious and saving cows (although I wonder of that's an oxymoron, given the extra methane?).

However, my point is that language can change perception. Feel bad to feel good.

Yesterday at our Bristol marketing workshop, we heard from the a few of the lovely teams attending about their "priority list".

That's the list that patients can join if they would like to be informed of a cancellation and take the available slot.

It may well be that your Front of House Team are calling that a "cancellation list".

  • "Would you like me to add you to our cancellation list?'

  • "Would you like me to add you to our priority list?"

Again, the replacement of one work with another change the experience and the way the patient/customer feels.

How many other words could we change in the patient experience?

(Here's an old and obvious one - waiting room becomes patient lounge - your turn.)

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I noticed Steven Bartlett is offering his new Diary (personal development planning system) in Vegan Leather. Which immediately put me off it. Faux Leather might not have had the same negative effect. However, I know I am going to be paying just as much for Fake Leather (good for Annie!) as I would have done for the real thing. To be offered a choice of covers would have been nice. Love the idea of the Priority Waiting List though.

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