They may as well go ahead and declare today a national holiday.  As I write this, Super Bowl XLIV kicks off in a matter of hours.

Tens of millions will tune in.  Most for the game.  Regardless - it’s what they call “appointment TV.”  The Olympics start soon too.  American Idol is in full swing.  Fire up the DVR.

Pulling interest and creating loyalty to a group of stars or a certain concept is what network programming is all about.  They seek the magic formula that will get you coming back for every episode.  What gets you to care.

That’s your job too. What gets your customers to care about you?

The Albany Business Review has an article on Price Chopper’s (Golub Corp.) Fuel Advantage program this week.  That’s the program that gives you a discount on gas for shopping with them.  They’ve meshed two things you deeply care about.

Food and Gas.  Basic.

The equation is even clearer for them because local competition is among just a few major brands.  Although they are tough competitors - shopper in this market basically choose from Price Chopper, Hannaford, and WalMart when it comes to supermarkets.

You win the tug of war, more come to you.  Of course, there’s a new match regularly.  Each seeking that little edge over the other.

It’s more difficult to find the caring when you offer a product or service in an exceptionally crowded field.  Or if you’ve basically become a commodity.

Now what?

In this scenario, finding the caring often comes down to who’s the more relevant to the customer.  What are they looking for besides your offering?  Is it comfort and trust.  Personal relationship.  How green you are?  Convenience?  Who your other customers are?

It’s somewhat different in each market category.  Each geography.  Your job is to find it.  Find what’s most relevant to your targets and ensure that your businesses authentically offers it.

For years, saying something is the “Cadillac” of [insert type product of service] said it was the best of the best.  A “Chevy” or a “Honda” (sorry Toyota) means affordable and/or reliable.

Find the caring.  Be real.  And find your customers.