Discover more from Future Commerce
Episode 153
April 24, 2020

Customers Need Safety

We bring Summer Jelinek on to discuss how brands are meeting customer needs in this moment while continuing to incorporate their "magic."

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this episode sponsored by

Main Takeaways:

Was February Two Months or Two Years Ago?

Since time has absolutely no meaning anymore, it seems like February was forever ago, but two months ago, Phillip and Lianne met Summer Jelinek at Future Stores Miami after hearing her deliver an inspirational, impactful, keynote speech about authentic customer experience.

So let's talk more about Summer:

Do All Brands Know Their Audience As Well As Disney Does?

One of the most important considerations for any company is to know their audience and to have their audience consistently be a part of the brand's journey. Disney has their branding down to a science.

Retail Right Now: What Does The Situation Even Look Like?

Amidst the raging COVID-19 pandemic, questions remain on everyone's mind, what is the new normal in retail, and how are brands and consumers going to adjust to the current situations?

Phillip asks Summer what she thinks about the current situation on the ground?

There's a lot to consider:

A Sense of Normalcy Is What We All Need:

Looking to the future is essential, but it's just as important to figure out what consumers need right now, and the steps that are essential to keep everyone safe.

So how does one feel normal in the middle of a global pandemic that has led to almost 20% unemployment?

Extra notes:

Phillip mentions an article he wrote for FC Insiders called From Plows to Swords, it's fantastic, and you can read it here

Also mentioned during the show is a piece by Brian on authenticity in brand experiences during COVID-19, you're going to want to read that as well, check it out here.

If you want to reach out to Summer (and you should), you can go to →

And Summer also mentioned that if anyone is looking for resume help during this scary time with lots of layoffs, you can send her an email at

Also, →  What is something that a brand has done that has made you feel a sense of normalcy during this chaotic time?

Have any questions or comments about the show? Let us know on, or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. We love hearing from our listeners!

Phillip: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Future Commerce. We're back in this time this season. We usually open the show saying things like we're talking about cutting edge and next generation commerce. I think many people are just trying to... Cutting edge today is keeping afloat, and next generation is hoping there's a tomorrow. But that's kind of dark. And Brian's not here to temper my cynicism today. {laughter} So you're going to get what you get. We have a special guest with us today. And I'm very excited. We met at a show in Miami, which feels like a lifetime ago, which was only, I think, six or eight weeks ago. Summer Jelinek is a speaker and a trainer and has 20 years of leadership working with companies like the Walt Disney Corporation and Disney Institute and HEB in most recent days. And she connects with audiences all over the world in bringing the idea of what consumer experience really means in a modern context. I really enjoyed her talk and when we met at Future Stores in Miami, which again feels like another lifetime ago, but I'm so excited to have her on the show. Welcome to Future Commerce, Summer.

Summer: [00:01:05] Thank you very much to be here. It is an exciting time and very different than when you and I first started talking about planning this out in what, like February?

Phillip: [00:01:14] It's kind of insane how much in the world has changed in this time. But we I feel like we're all kind of poised to take on the challenge. And a lot of the sentimentality around this idea that we had to tread lightly for some time, I think is kind of subsiding as consumer demand maybe makes a comeback, question mark? We'll see. But I have the benefit of knowing a little bit of your story because I sat in your main keynote session at Future Stores. I thought maybe you could share some of that with our audience and get people up to speed on who you are.

Summer: [00:01:46] Yeah, absolutely. So I accidentally fell into hospitality when I was 17, 18 years old, grew up in a very small town in Louisiana and started working as a line cook. Then I figured that people would pay me to travel and cook for them. And I was out of Louisiana as quickly as possible. So I went and worked at a ski resort in New Hampshire, dude ranch in Colorado and really fell in love with that customer experience, figuring out how to identify what customers need and taking it to the next level. Went back to college and didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but knew I wanted to be in charge. So went to school for business management because that's what good little leaders do. And then decided to put my hospitality skills to the test and went to work at Walt Disney World. So I was there for about eight years. Restaurant retail management. And then also had the privilege of working with the Disney Institute, which is the consulting side of Disney. And that's where I got bitten by the speaker bug, being on stage and having a chance to drive change and innovation on such a large scale. I still enjoy training in the small experiences, but really like watching a room full of, you know, anywhere from 50 to hundreds and one day thousands figuring out, you know, seeing those light bulbs go on. So now I currently am a leadership speaker, which it's an interesting time to be a speaker of any kind. So it's, you know, trying to figure out what those next steps look like. But yeah, definitely the easiest way I can explain my speaking business is I help leaders engage the human in front of them, whether it's a customer or an employee.

Phillip: [00:03:31] I'm sure we'll sort of I hate these sort of like businessy, you know, B.S. bingo terms. But if we were to zoom in on... Let's double click on that. If we were to zoom in and on the Disney side of the experience, I think we could certainly talk about some of the challenges that they theoretically might be facing, based on your experience there, at the moment. But I don't want to get sort of pigeonholed in that. You have so much experience in communicating and helping others communicate. I think understanding how to communicate with an audience right now is the most important skill a brand marketer can have. And that's the better you know your audience, the more receptive I think they'll be to the kind of messaging that you could craft at this moment. I'm sure that's always the case, but I think people are more sensitive to it now than ever.

Summer: [00:04:21] Absolutely.

Phillip: [00:04:23] If we were to think about what the last month and a half in Disney parks terms would be based on your experience, what are some of the conversations that you think would be being had in their business? And what kind of impact are theme park closures having for them and for their employees?

Summer: [00:04:43] I think right now it's, you know, whatever... Well, let's talk about from the outside looking in and then we'll talk more about internally. But for most of our generation, we have all grown up with the idea of Walt Disney World. And even if you're not a Disney fan, you still have that concept of magic and pixie dust. One of the things that was interesting when I worked at Disney is Walt Disney World the theme parks is use it as an economic indicator, because when the economy is good, people are going to Disney. When the economy starts slowing down, people stop going to Disney. So I'm wondering, what does that say for us right now as far as an economic indicator goes? But when I first heard that Disney closed and then, you know, a couple of weeks later when they furloughed all of their employees, it for a moment, it was a pretty sad day. It felt a little bit like pixie dust had dimmed, and there was a little bit of a struggle with that. You know, what does that mean? But I have to say, I still have a lot of friends working in Disney. And everything that I've heard about how the company is handling it and what they're doing to take care of their employees has been phenomenal. I'm a huge fan of Bob Iger and his team. And if you're going to look at, you know, a case study of how a company should be dealing with this, I think Disney is a good case study. You know, have they been perfect? No. But have they done a phenomenal job in extraordinarily difficult circumstances? Yes, I think they have. Inside the company, I would love to be a fly on the wall and hearing how they're going to come out of this and what that's going to look like. But they're doing the best thing that they can for the health of the organization long term. Even though it's a little bit painful in the short term.

Phillip: [00:06:30] What was your role in the organization? You said you spent eight years there and then you were over at Disney Institute. Give us a little bit of a timeline of your point of view from inside the organization.

Summer: [00:06:44] Yes. So I started on the college program like so many. And then did six months on the college program in Fort Wilderness, which is Walt Disney World Camp Ground. Did you know they had a campground?

Phillip: [00:06:54] I did. I've been there.

Summer: [00:06:55] Oh ok. I did not before I started working there. I was like, I want to work on Main Street, Magic Kingdom. And they're like, you go into the campground. I'm like, I'm sorry, what? That was a bit of an interesting experience, but this was in 2010 and it was still super competitive to get one of the management internships. And I am naturally competitive at heart, which is why I love retail so much, but applied for the management internship. Got one of those. And that's where I truly got a taste of that Disney leadership. Worked in retail most of my Disney time. I was in retail for probably about five years and then the last three years I bounced between retail and food and beverage. I did like a merge model of both of them. And Disney Institute, I would work with them during their peak season. And so three or four times a month, I would host tours for C-level executives, kind of talking about how Disney does what they do and how it transfers to their organization. So I would do that probably nine to 10 months out of the year for my last two or three years.

Phillip: [00:08:02] So being in food and beverage... It's funny when you have those retail lenses on, I think we'd spoken about this at Future Stores, a lot of folks look at... If you watch like Disney Parks blogs and they'll talk about the rising cost of a park, the admission ticket or the rising cost of hotel accommodations. In my mind, walking around a Disney park as an annual pass holder, we go with the kids all the time, and and I have the ability to because it's two hours away and I live in Florida. And why not? It's great. And what's fantastic or what's the awe inspiring for me is seeing that in aggregate, my viewpoint is 99% of the activations that take place inside of the theme park gates are food and bev related. Right? It's a tremendous amount of business.

Summer: [00:09:00] It is.

Phillip: [00:09:01] It's not trivial.

Summer: [00:09:02] Well, and the amount, because whenever you look at it, it's at night you see a lot more of the retail come out where the people are walking around with like the glow sticks and the bubble wands and stuff like that. But they're in the day, it's people are... We used to have a guest that will come to Disney when I worked at Fort Wilderness, they would come, they were local pass holders. They would come about every two weeks and get a box of the Mickey Bars, like an unopened box that we would use to stock our freezers. They would just... And they would eat it. And whenever it was done, they would come back and get more. I think there is something to the branding that Disney has. They have branded everything. You know, they've branded their ice cream bars and their popcorn and, you know, their pretzels. It's just who doesn't want to eat a little bit of magic and pixie dust, whenever you're having a bad day?

Phillip: [00:09:51] Yeah. Yeah. And unfortunately, for most, it's those days are harder to come by right now. But shifting gears a little bit, just thinking about this current environment... How long do you think before we're sort of... And you're in a role now in grocery, so I'm sure you're up to your eyeballs every day the last few weeks. And I'm sure you're part of essential services. What do you think broad retail looks like in the next few months? And how long before we kind of get back to some sort of semblance of normal or come back online in some capacity?

Summer: [00:10:32] Well, I really think it's an interesting time to be part of retail because you do have the grocery side of retail and, you know, the protective PPE, the gloves and the masks and everything like that and the hand sanitizers like that part is booming. And then the rest of retail is looking around and trying to figure out what do we do? Like how do we handle this situation? How do we stay afloat? And I think this is going to be we're not going to see it just yet, but over the next couple of weeks, you know, we've been spending because all of this dropped, at least in my grocery store, dropped on March 16th. I'll never forget that day. And so we've all been handling it since March 15th, March 16th, that timeframe. And so we've just been trying to survive. Everybody in retail across the border, whether you are overwhelmed with business or you're underwhelmed with business. Everybody's trying to survive. But it's going to be interesting. And now that we are surviving and we're figuring out what that new norm looks like is who are going to be the ones that are going to step up and the ones that are going to get creative and figure out, OK, we're surviving. And if you're not on this side that is overwhelmed with business, if you're on that side, that's not doing as much business, this is where the creativity is going to come in. How are we going to figure out what those next steps are? I saw an article yesterday and I thought it was just brilliant. Panera Bread is selling groceries.

Phillip: [00:11:56] Wow.

Summer: [00:11:56] I know. Right. And stuff like that. I mean, it's it's not a good time for how all of it happens, but the brilliance that comes out of moments like this is always truly inspiring to me that it's not so much the industries, it's who are the individuals, who are the companies, who are the organizations that are going to look at the situation. And instead of asking, why is this happening to me, ask how are we going to survive and why is this happening for me? What am I going to learn? What am I going to do different? My how am I going to set myself apart as a leader of the pack? That's moments like this. This is where the leaders of the pack step up because they look at things differently. And Panera is a great example of that. You know, they are a small coffee food restaurant and their business is dying. But they see a need. They see a heavy consumer need for groceries. And they're stepping in and filling that need.

Phillip: [00:12:49] This this article that you mentioned, I found a press release on PR Newswire from April 8th, which at the time of this recording, I feel like we have to timestamp all of these now because life changes every day. Every day is a week long. So we're recording on April 9th. And this would have taken place yesterday. But the the press really says today Panera announced the launch of Panaro Grocery, a new service enabling guests to purchase high demand pantry items such as milk, bread and fresh produce alongside their favorite soups, salads or sandwiches. And it's leveraging the Panara supply chain of clean ingredients. Panara Grocery is easily ordered on the website or app. You in your talk at Future Stores, you mentioned or alluded to some involvement in the My Disney Experience app or some awareness of the lifecycle of how that came to market. Is that correct?

Summer: [00:13:44] Yes. Yeah, I was part of that frontline leadership team when we rolled it out across all of our theme parks and resorts,.

Phillip: [00:13:50] Certainly on a different scale, but can you imagine sort of repurposing and launching a digital product in the space of two to three weeks? What does that sort of putting yourself in the shoes of a company like Panera Bread, what are the kinds of things and skills and leadership that are needed to sort of make that leap? It seems very creative, but is it too far to say they would have had to had some technological capability to do all of this in-house to begin with?

Summer: [00:14:26] Yes, they would have had the technology, the capabilities to already do this. One of the things that whenever you look at companies and how they're adapting, a lot of people are talking about the technology piece. But I would say that the technology piece already existed. So for all of these companies that are doing, well for most companies that are doing the technology and the infrastructure that is needed to be able to do online pickup, do the delivery, do the curbside. All of that already existed. It's the people part that's having to shift. You know, whenever you go from like a grocery store, they were maybe doing, you know, my local Kroger's who, I'm just going to put it out there, I don't work for them. So this is just me looking from the outside in. But my local Kroger's was probably doing like 60 to 80 pickups a day. And when we drove by them last night, they had it was nine o'clock at night, there were thirty three people waiting to pull in and eight people in the slots waiting for their groceries. So you had over 40 people waiting. And it's you know, that's the people aspect. Do you have enough people in place? Do you have enough training in place? How can you get people trained as quickly as possible? That's something that my store is currently going through. We had to get a lot of people on board and then the training. I would say that the customer service aspect right now isn't the primary focus. It's how can we be as efficient as possible? How can we be as accurate as possible? How can we get as much throughput as possible? So the technology already existed. It's the skill sets that we're demanding from our employees and our leaders is definitely changing. And for our leaders, I'm watching and it feels like they're being pulled in a thousand directions, so that ability to adapt and be flexible and know that what happened yesterday isn't going to happen today. And be able to adapt to whatever that new norm is and keep their people motivated and keep the morale up, it's a challenging time for leadership right now. I mean, for any position, but for leadership right now, for sure.

Phillip: [00:16:30] There's a I wrote an article a couple weeks ago on the Future Commerce Insiders weekly essay that we put out and sort of reminded me of this sort of Old Testament, sort of prophetic, you know, take up your arms call to war, beat your plows into swords and, you know, let's all fight together. And I said, that's like the mandate or the sort of battle cry for private industry to step up and use the tools that they already have at their disposal that are usually meant for reaping profits and let's, you know, beat those into swords to use to fight against this economic crisis that we're all facing. This feels very much in that vein. But you can't be all things to all people with one digital experience, you know, thinking from your experience in at least in My Disney experience app world, you have to appeal to a lot of different types of personalities who use a digital product. What are some of the like challenges you had to overcome in building that experience and the things you had to plan for and maybe how that mindset might go into planning some of these digital, you know, these digital curbside delivery type experiences?

Summer: [00:17:52] Yeah, well, I think the thing that My Magic Plus did beautifully that we are going to start seeing whether companies now are doing beautifully or not is they got to the focus of what do our customers need from us? Right? And so when My Magic Plus came out, there was I mean, it was 2012, so the whole "Give me your email address, and I'll send you a form to fill out," you know, something that you can benefit from that wasn't commonplace. And so Disney understood that if they were going to be asking their customers to give them this much information, there needed to be something the customers were going to get in turn. So Disney really looked at it from two different perspectives. How do we make sure our cast members, Disney employees, how do we make sure that they are on board and supportive? Anytime you're rolling out something to your customers, if your employees don't buy in, it's not going to be successful. And so getting the employee bought in and then how are we going to make it worth it for our customers? So the question that our customers are asking is, how have I survived without this for so long vs. why do I need this?

Phillip: [00:19:01] Wow.

Summer: [00:19:01] And they did that so well by just defining what both sides, the employees and the customers, needed from the experience. And I think right now where customer service is taking an interesting twist is, you know, March 10th, our customers wanted that amazing experience. They didn't mind waiting a little bit longer for that experience. And they wanted that, you know, that high touch, you know, being a part of something. Whereas if you think about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, that is gone from the customer experience. Our customers want to feel safe. They want to feel heard. They want to feel taken care of. They're trying to figure out how they're going to pay their bills, what's going to happen to their mortgage. Do they have enough food? Do they have the right types of food? You know, so how much of a normalcy can we maintain for our customers and our products and experience? But it's not about that going above and beyond. So while the result will look very different from when My Magic Plus was rolling out to what successful companies are doing right now, the way that they get to the result is going to be what do our customers need. And right now, what retail customers need is safety. So what can you do to limit those touchpoints? Like so that metering keeping people six feet apart? We currently have a line outside of our grocery store every morning, and I'm surprised by how many people say thank you, you know, because I understand it's about that safety. So companies really need to like take a look at what their customers are needing from them and understand it's not the same thing that they needed six weeks ago.

Phillip: [00:20:36] Well, speaking of customer service, just gonna take a quick break to thank one of our sponsors. We'd like to welcome Gladly back to the show and really so happy for their continued support of Future Commerce. If you are looking for a customer service platform, Gladly is the one for you. If you ask me in my opinion. And for today's discerning customers, customer service is the new marketing, and that's why the world's most customer centric brands, even right now, are using those personalized customer service experiences to sort of strike the difference between thriving and and just frankly falling down. We've seen a lot of customer service experiences falling down right now. It's been like a global stress test on customer service teams and that is the most important thing, is that when your customers are happy and they find a new level of trust in you. And you can get that right now by having that experience, by using a platform like Gladly. So we'd like you to go check them out and find out what a truly customer centric platform looks like. You can do that and let them know that you heard about them on this show. And thank you for their continued support. Back to our conversation, Summer, when you're thinking about your own experience, right now is your current chain that you're at... Am I allowed to say which company it is you're working for right now? I can't remember.

Summer: [00:22:09] Sure. Yes. I worked for HEB in Central Market.

Phillip: [00:22:13] Ok. So in the HEB company, you said they're doing a really great job. Is part of the social distancing and all those safeguards you've put into place and your customers being delighted with those... Is part of any of that technology centric or technology assisted? And is part of that like a curbside delivery or BOPUS? And if not, is that on the roadmap?

Summer: [00:22:39] Well, it's it's interesting that you ask, because HEB, when I started with them a little bit more than two years ago, I remember that we were looking at eCommerce, as this is gonna be coming. And then over the past two years, it's rolled out and it wasn't successful or unsuccessful like it wasn't something, especially for Central Market, which is as we spoke about before we got started, it's kind of like for those that aren't in the Texas area... The closest I can explain it is like if you Eataly, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods had a baby, that would kind of be a Central Market. It was... They got me over here when they said, "It's a theme park for foodies." So imagine what you will. It's a grocery store. But so much more than a grocery store. So it's, you know, figuring out what that looked like. And our customers came to us for the customer experience. You know, it was when you came through a Central Market, it was most definitely about the experience. And now, as we just spoke of, you know, it's about that safety and figuring out what happened. So we went from our stores are jam packed all the time to now everybody wants to go through curbside. So luckily, we had the platform, we had the technology for it. But again, it's you know, we're struggling in that same area. How do we get the people up to where they need to be and how do we do it in a way that we don't burn out our employees? Because that's a really big piece. When you're pushing and asking this much from people, you have to do it in a way that takes care of your employees. And I'm so very proud to be working for this company because they do take care of us. I'm not going to speak for all retailers, but if I have to guess, I'm sure there's not a whole lot of, you know, top story later saying make sure you take your time off. Make sure that you take your two days detached. Don't check your email. And we're being told that now because they know when we're there, we're working so hard. So luckily, we had the platform in place, the technology in place, but it's getting the people caught up to where we need to be so we can be fully functioning and delivering what our customers are asking us to deliver for them. Did that answer your question?

Phillip: [00:24:43] Oh, yeah, in a big way. I think when things have been good and we had twelve some years of economic growth, by the way, when this all is behind us, hopefully one day, I'll have to take full ownership of being the guy who back in November proudly declared that we had another 12 months of guaranteed economic growth, because that's how you get reelected into a second term in the United States. {laughter} And so I guess I'll own those words pretty soon if I haven't already. But global pandemics, not withstanding, when you have 12 years of economic boom in year over year growth, a lot of things wind up you sort of being very experimental. You you try a lot of things, and we've seen a lot of technology for technology's sake. And now some of that feels quite fortuitous that some of those things are being relied on as a central infrastructure. I find that very fascinating. And it sort of is the dividing line right now for companies who are able to continue to service customers and those who have had to furlough and sort of halt business. So I find that sort of fascinating. And we'll continue to track that here. Just kind of coming toward the end of this conversation, if some brands we're looking to make technology investment and they were trying to make that experience unique to them, what do you think are some of the processes or the things to keep in mind when crafting technology assisted experiences so that you don't sort of lose your voice? Everybody's, I'm guessing, going to adopt or double down on eCommerce after this is all behind us. But, you know, do you want just another shopping cart? I guess that's my question. So like from your perspective, how do you mitigate that risk of losing the feeling of the brand experience or an in-person experience when you move to a digital space?

Summer: [00:26:53] Absolutely. It's funny that you brought up the looking at technology that was technology for just technology sake. And now it's being so critical. I have thought about that so many times. We celebrated our one year anniversary for our curbside team in January. And so we're babies at this. And now it is like you said, it's very essential and very critical for what we're currently going through. So I think at least in the United States, at least in what we're doing, we got pretty lucky in the fact that we had a lot of the tools and resources in place, even when we didn't understand that's why we were building them. So now fast forwarding to, you know, three, four, five weeks, months, whenever all of this ends, how do you maintain that experience? I think it always comes down to asking yourself, what do our customers need from us? And so, like in the organization that I work for, our customers needed the experience. And when we go back to being that experiential shopping, it's how can we make sure that we continue that experience even beyond what the store is? Right? Because whenever you think about a company, so think about Walt Disney World. When you think about Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World wasn't the Cinderella's castle and you know the ball at Epcot, even though those were a big part and that symbolized what Disney was, Disney was a feeling. You know, when you go to Walt Disney World, you had this feeling. And if you connected to that feeling, then you were a fan. If you didn't connect thing, you weren't a fan. And so it was how do we bring that feeling into people's homes? And they did it with Mickey bars that you can pick up by the boxful or, you know, plush or the movies. It's how do you figure out why your customers are coming? What feeling are you giving your customers that they're connecting to? And then how do you push that outside of your brick and mortar? And so like for curbside experiences, if your company is built on an experience, what is that experience and how can you bring that to the car, even if they don't come in your building? And that's going to be a differentiator for companies that can get down to that. You know, they call it like the touchy feely and soft skills and stuff. But I don't care what anybody says, that is the hardest part of dealing with humans is that the feeling, understanding the feeling that they have and why they have it and how you can replicate it as a company. And so it's figure out what that feeling is and then ask yourself, how can we push this out past our brick and mortar? And when you figure out what that looks like, you'll start figuring out what steps as a company, you need to take to do that.

Phillip: [00:29:37] You brought something up that just made me sort of... It gave me pause. If I had to think of an experience I've had recently in this time that still felt very authentic, I would say my kids... I have, and I have to admit this sort of publicly, you know, my kids have been at home for the better part of a month, but the three times that I've taken them out, it's been to the Chick-Fil-A drive through.

Summer: [00:30:00] Yes.

Phillip: [00:30:01] And Chick-Fil-A has retained... And I know there are certain people who feel certain ways. And I totally understand and respect that about Chick-Fil-A. But in the way that they deliver customer service and guest experience, they are truly different amongst their peers, and they've somehow retained that even with social distancing. I think that's really amazing and including being very quick with their over the top and television advertising and saying, you know, we'll be here when things get back to normal. But for now, take care of yourself. That feels very authentic to that brand. And yeah, I think it's a challenge when you're a brand marketer that, you know, just sells another yoga pant of how you do that, that it's authentic to you. But I think that is the challenge we're all being called up to have to face right now.

Summer: [00:30:53] I think it's... Because it's funny. I brought my daughter out. I have a four year old and I brought her out for a breakfast at Chick-Fil-A this morning.

Phillip: [00:30:59] Oh wow.

Summer: [00:31:00] Yeah. But what they give us right now is they give us a sense of, or at least for me, they give me a sense of normalcy. It doesn't feel weird when I go to Chick-Fil-A. It doesn't feel like we're in the middle of a pandemic. It just feels like I want some chicken minis, you know, and that's a special skill that starts at the top of the company and works its way down to the front lines where you don't feel that stress and that angst from their front line. And that, in my opinion, you know, they're like you said, Chick-Fil-A is some polarizing things. So I'm not speaking for all of it, but how they handle their customer service aspect, and how they handle their front line, I think they do an extraordinary job.

Phillip: [00:31:40] Yeah, I tend to agree. Yeah, and the way that they've brought that forward without, you know, being able to bring something to you in the store, you know, they're finding ways to do that by writing on bags, I've seen in some local markets, and in some other places encouraging use of the app. No contact sort of delivery. I find that that's really, really interesting. And I don't have a breadth of experience in other fast food chains. They might all be doing it, but I know that that was one that really stood out to me. Could you put on your future goggles if you have them sitting by you?

Summer: [00:32:24] They're locked and loaded. Ready to go.

Phillip: [00:32:27] Yeah. And then if you're able to look into the future for six months, where do you think we're heading? And are we due for a rebound when social distancing orders let up and or not? I'm curious what you think.

Summer: [00:32:44] So this is highly, highly speculative. But I think, you know, I know that the steps that we're having to take to get to this point, if I can just be frank, they kind of suck in a big way. But I'm also super excited to see what's going to happen, you know, because this is where change happens. This is where the exciting things happen. Like my mom has a saying. She says, "They don't call it growing pains for nothing." Right? Remember when you were a kid and your legs would ache and it would hurt. But then you would be like six inches taller the next day? You know, that's where we're at as an entire world. We're going through those growing pains. We're feeling the ache, but we don't know what it's going to look like tomorrow. And I think we're going to see some exceptional things, and I think there's going to be companies like the entertainment companies, the restaurant industries, you know, all of these industries that have had to take a back seat. They really need to be ready when we come out of this, because people are going to want to go out. They're going to want to go to the restaurants. They're going to want to go be in public with other people. And if they bump into somebody, it's OK. And they're not worrying if they get sick. So the expendable income, it's going to take a second for all of that to catch up. But I think that's an opportunity that companies can look at, is when this does release, when there is that sense of celebration, and that we've survived and things are good, how can they create these experiences for the customers to come out, but maybe not be as expensive as they were in the past? You know, companies are going to be struggling. They're going to need that income. So it's going to take a second for them to overcome that initial knee jerk reaction to charge as much as they were. But that's where they're going to find fans is when they step up and they do something for the customers. That's where you have the chance to win an entire group of people that maybe would not have considered you before.

Phillip: [00:34:33] Maybe a whole generation. And we talk a lot about generational commerce. I think this is the kind of moment where generational brand loyalty can really take hold is in this moment with the experiences you're having with the companies that you can still do business with. We all still need basic goods. And my co-host, who's not here today, Brian, will tell you that his lifelong love of Costco comes from his father's lifelong love of Costco. And it was much deeper than just it's a great place to get, you know, three thousand rolls of toilet paper. But their wine experience there, just the way they treat their employees all adds up to, you know, a generational affinity to shopping at a certain place. I think that this is a moment where we can certainly appreciate how that might be formed. If people wanted to get in touch with you, Summer, where can they do that? How can they find you?

Summer: [00:35:33] Yeah. So Last name is spelled J E L I N E K. Summer is just like your favorite season. S U M M E R, and all of my contact information is there. My website is currently being redone, so if you go this week it's gonna look a little bit different than if you go next week. But feel free, poke around, look around. Happy to have any conversations, and one of the things that I offered on my blog and I hope it's okay. I know we didn't discuss this beforehand and I apologize.

Phillip: [00:36:01] Please. Yeah.

Summer: [00:36:02] But I got a little sad we mentioned about Disney closing. I got a little sad. I got a little overwhelmed with how everything was going. And I started asking, how can I help? And so my background is in leadership development and recruiting. So if anybody needs resumé help, interview skills, if you're trying to figure out what that next step looks like, email me at and I can help with recruiting, interviewing and LinkedIn. So when the world does bounce back, you're ready to bounce back with it.

Phillip: [00:36:31] Yeah, wow that's awesome. I'm glad that you're offering that up. We were so glad to have had you. I hope to have you back on again and under rosier circumstances. It's such a pleasure to have you.

Summer: [00:36:42] Thank you. I really enjoyed it. Maybe we can come back in six months and figure out if our predictions are accurate.

Phillip: [00:36:47] I think so. And I'm really glad to have had you. Thank you for all your candor and be safe and be well.

Summer: [00:36:53] Thank you. You as well.

Phillip: [00:36:55] Thanks for listening to Future Commerce. You can drop us a line at It would really help us out in this time for you to do a little favor to us. Hope this isn't too big of an ask, but why don't you go over to Apple podcasts or to Spotify and leave us a review? That really helps us get in front of more people, or share this with a friend or a professional colleague. If you found this insight for interesting, a quick share, a forward of an email or even a thumbs up on Apple is always appreciated. It's so nice to have some sort of normalcy right now in this time and the normalcy we provide is we publish every Friday at 7 a.m. And so you can subscribe wherever podcasts are found or on your smart speaker device by saying, "Play Future Commerce." You can also subscribe to our Insiders newsletter and that comes every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. And our essay this past week was about authenticity and how authenticity can certainly be manufactured and what actually counts is authenticity today. That's an interesting topic. We like asking open ended questions that have no definitive answers because we want you to weigh in. And we love when our listeners give their feedback and lend their voice to the conversation. Thanks so much for listening to Future Commerce. And let's all shape the future to be one that we can be proud of. Thanks for listening.

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