Recently I attended the eCommerce Awards dinner as HearingDirect had been shortlisted in the Best Start-up Company category. The ceremony was at the Gloucester Millennium Hotel in Kensington and we were in the company of such heavyweights as M&S, Ocado, Boots, B&Q, Sainsbury's and other household names. I was not sure whether to be flattered or nervous to be such a small minnow in a pond of sharks.
After the champagne reception with canapés that tasted of nothing, we went through to dinner. The seating plan was the first hint that perhaps we were not to be winners on the night. When your table is right at the back of the room, just next to the fire escape the long walk to the stage is probably not going to happen. I was seated between a Frenchman who worked for a multi-national retailer with a vast product portfolio and a journalist from the Sunday Times which provided for an amusing conversation.
It was during the award ceremony that I started to think about the validity of the judging and the relevance of the comparisons between vastly differing organisations.
It's not rocket science but the reality is that the most important judges will always be our customers and HearingDirect must win in their comparison of competitive hearing aid companies. Our customers do not compare us against Sainsbury's, B&Q, M&S or Ocado. Our customers do not compare sandwiches against ladders against hearing aids.
The only company represented last night that we should be compared against was Boots, and none of their representatives on the night were from their Hearing Aid division. If the truth be known Boots' Hearing Aid Division is actually partly owned by a hearing aid manufacturer which is not widely publicised, as they don't like to admit that they primarily sell just their own products, so perhaps they are content to be under the radar. Even with that advantage I am happy to take on the fight which is truly a minnow against a shark, because I am confident that we strive every hour of every day to ensure our customers are as satisfied as we can possibly make them. So if you want to be the ultimate judge, more relevant than last night's panel and more credible than Simon Cowell & Co., come and try HearingDirect.com
We reserve the right to not supply champagne and tasteless canapés but will try to provide the best product for you at the best price. You be the judge.