The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.


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St. Louis is a big grocery store town. It’s headquarters for at least four multi-state chains – DierbergsSave-a-Lot, Schnucks, and Shop ‘n Save – and the location for a string of Aldi Foods, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart and Target superstores, Sam’s Clubs and Costcos. Each one promises customers a different experience.

Wanna bag your own groceries? Have them loaded into your car or delivered to your home? Buy in bulk or buy for two? Get the lowest price? The highest quality? St. Louisans have a lot of food choices!

My store has become comfortable; I know where things are and what to expect. The other day I stopped at a competitor’s new “concept-store”. The first couple of times I had been there I found it overwhelming and uncomfortable — too big, not enough parking, where are my favorite items?! — and I would quickly scurry back to familiar territory. But New Concept-Store keeps piquing my interest with its innovations. I’ve been back about five or six times now and it’s beginning to grow on me.

Change is hard! Getting people to identify with the “promise” a brand presents is challenging. And if that brand promise changes, as New Concept-Store’s did, it can be confusing and off-putting.

It can take as many as 10 tries before a child accepts a new food!

Parents as Teachers parent educators tell parents they may need to present a new food to their child 10 times before she accepts it. The same principle applies to re-branding!

Parents as Teachers is making changes that will ultimately offer better outcomes for children and families. Missouri families are already finding the “new” Parents as Teachers different, and judging by the Facebook comments, change will be hard.

I expect programs around the country will, too, as we roll out new concepts later this year. Stay tuned!

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  1. Pingback: Our top 10 posts of 2010 | This is Parents as Teachers

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