Cheryl Munoz (right, with Scott McAdam Jr. of McAdam Landscaping) is the founder of The Sugar Beet Co-Op in Oak Park.
Cheryl Munoz (right, with Scott McAdam Jr. of McAdam Landscaping) is the founder of The Sugar Beet Co-Op in Oak Park.

Have you ever had the experience of seeing a movie that you were skeptical would be much of anything to write home about–then being pleasantly surprised when it was actually pretty good?

Or, on the other end of the spectrum, do you recall the time (or two, or three, or…) when you heard a ton of buzz about some big-budget film, only to be let down when it didn’t come close to measuring up to all the hype?

In both types of scenarios, it’s the power of expectations at work. And in the realm of marketing and public relations, on occasion, the smart move is to tamp down expectations rather than scream from the rooftops. Particularly when you have not yet established firm footing, it’s the way to go so you are unlikely to disappoint and are therefore able to build support as you fine-tune your service or product.

That is the approach this week for The Sugar Beet Co-Op, a full-service, member-owned grocery store in Oak Park. Aiming to become a vibrant market for local, sustainably grown food, The Sugar Beet opens, after much local anticipation, on Friday, July 31st. Leaders are billing the momentous occasion at 812 W. Madison St. as a “soft opening.”

As Sugar Beet states in an email to its members and supporters: “No ad in the paper, no marching bands or celebrity chef appearances…Our staff is new, the software systems are fresh out of the box, our store has kinks that have not even been discovered yet. It’s likely that we will discover them together this weekend. We’ll get it right.”

Already, in its strategic setting of the soft-launch stage–and the attendant hiccups that so often characterize such debuts–the Co-Op is getting it right.

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David vs. Goliath: From Gladwell’s Book to Cultivating Main Street PR Prospects


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