Don’t believe that rituals in business matter?

Don’t believe that rituals in business matter? They do and you can use them in your marketing.

Sales of Saint Joseph Statuettes Reflect the Real Estate Market, in Reverse

The real-estate market and sales of Saint Joseph statuettes tend to move in opposite directions, according to a Missouri-based religious-goods company queried by the Wall Street Journal. For instance, from 2009 to 2010, when local home prices were stagnant, sales of the figurines slightly more than doubled; when prices began to rise, sales of the saint’s image declined. In 2013, statuette sales were down 10.6% from the previous year, a period in which the median U.S. existing-home sale price rose 11%. Some people believe that they can better sell their houses if they bury a statuette of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of home and family, upside-down in the yard.

rituals in business
SOURCE: Bless Our Happy Home Sale

The Age of Secret Menus


It used to be rare to find a restaurant or fast food restaurant with a secret menu. One that has been around for some time is the secret menu at In-N-Out Burger.

Now it is popping everywhere. Panera Bread released its secret menu a few days ago. All of the options don’t have bread. Panera wants to try a new, healthier menu and by creating a secret menu they avoided the costs of creating new paper menus and kept the wall menus simplified. According to an NPR interview, they believe it is a cheap way to test new products and some free PR.

But the real reason why secret menus work is because of a simple concept brought by Maslow. The need for belonging. We all want to belong to a group and a select group that knows about a “secret” menu is even better. It brings mystery and rituals to the process. Mystery and rituals in businesses make people connect and stay.

The brain cannot cope with unanswered questions so it wants to be around until it has all of the answers – and rituals keep us engaged. Note that McDonald’s has a great example of ritual in the menu. The Mc10:35 can only be ordered at you guess it, 10:35am.

Restaurants are unfolding their secret menus but any business can incorporate mystery and rituals in their process. We have an entire audio on this topic that you can get for free at

Here are a few other restaurants with a secret menu:

  • MCDonald’s has the Monster Burger and the McGangBang. not all stores are caring the secret menu at this point. The Mc10:35 is a special sandwich that can only be ordered for ten minutes each morning, during the changeover from McDonald’s breakfast menu to its standard menu at 10:35 a.m.
  • Chipotle’s has a secret menu with several options. The Quesarito is one of them.
  • Starbucks: Biscotti Frappuccino, the Cinnamon Roll Cappuccino, and the Captain Crunch Frappuccino and the Raspberry cream cheese cappuccino.
  • Taco Bell’s: Chili Cheese Burrito, Double Grilled Quesadillas, and the Enchirito, which is an enchilada stuffed with beef, beans, cheese, diced onions, and topped with red sauce.
  • Burger King: Suicide Burger, Frings.
  • Subway: Pizza. While the pizza sub used to be a staple on Subway’s regular menu, it was removed when the company began pushing its healthy eating initiatives.
  • Jamba Juice: Green Gummy Bear Smoothie

Case study: Nextpedition- Mystery and ritual in business

travel case studyWe talk a lot of incorporating mystery and rituals in your business. It is one of the ways you become irresistible to a market.

Here is an example of a travel business using mystery and rituals to attract oodles of avid clients.

The name Nextpediton.

American Express has launched a travel service call Nextpedition.  On a Nextpedition vacation, we don’t get an itinerary. We get a succession of surprises.

AmEx doesn’t tell us where we’re going until the last minute. Only when you get there you get to know what you are going to visit. An envelope appears, pushed under the door of our hotel room, or a message issues from our smartphone.

Amex knows that the consumer that wants all the details about his or her trip does not exist anymore.

Why they do it this way?

It creates sense of anticipation. (“What will happen?”) And serendipity. (“What could happen?”) And adventure. (“This should be great!”) Most of all, it delivers a warm current of randomness. Our life is unpredictable. But not “Oh, my God, the sky is falling” unpredictable. No, this is carefully managed chaos. Just enough. Almost like a game.

This customization is important because we want our experience to play out as if directed by a gentle randomness.

The Nextpedition system makes a modest effort to profile us before building our vacations, so our Nextpedition is likely to fall somewhere in the envelope of things we like. But both AmEx and the traveler are taking a risk.

“We created the Travel Signs so that anyone, regardless of if they plan to travel in the near future, can help define what they want out of a travel experience” says Amex. They divide the prospects into groups:

  • Adrenalista – Outdoor adventurers that love to travel
  • Tasteblazer – Foodies always out to explore new places and flavors
  • Technologian – Travelers who explore the world with hi-tech toys
  • Trengineer – Style gurus who seek inspiration from their travels
  • Scenester – Underground influencers on the global music/fashion scene

The company targets people in their 20’s and 30’s.

To explore taking a NEXTPEDITION trip, the consumer must consult with a specially trained American Express NEXTPEDITION Specialist who will create a mystery itinerary based on the Travel Sign. NEXTPEDITION Specialists are experienced American Express Travel Counselors selected and trained to take information generated from the Travel Profiler and blend it with budget preferences, personal interests and past travel history to develop and customize an itinerary.

A specially programmed, on loan Smartphone called a Travel Console will arrive at the consumer’s home a few days before departure. The device communicates the traveler’s itinerary, Lonely Planet guidebook content, restaurant recommendations, and other helpful travel tools. The Travel Console also allows travelers to share the details of their experience on Facebook through a personalized travel log.