There was an article in the WSJ over the weekend discussing the original Brooks Brothers shirt and how it’s now been mostly replaced by those treated to be wrinkle-free. I recommend the normal shirts very highly and find that if washed correctly they don’t need to be taken to the cleaners and achieve just the right amount of formality for a business casual office.

My favorite line from the article:

I realize it would have been fruitless to explain that what made Brooks Brothers great wasn’t that it catered to the public’s taste; it created taste. What attracted me to the store in the first place wasn’t that it reaffirmed my questionable fashion instincts; Brooks Brothers elevated them.

This is the job of a successful company. Don’t just provide what the customer wants, provide what the customer doesn’t know he wants. Poor service is one reason why some online retailers like Amazon will succeed over Best Buy, even if the costs are the same. Poor retail service is worse than useless. Good retail service sells itself.

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