Costco Sign, Myrtle Beach SC

No “please” and “thank you.”  Not even a complete sentence.  Certainly nothing like this . . .

We would appreciate Members putting their carts
on the indicated side of the checkout conveyor belt
and keeping their own selves on the other side.

Like any other hard thing, communicating clearly and quickly always look simple after the fact.

Sign at Costco checkout indicating where the cart goes.



  1. Jim Taylor

    But which form of communication (Costco imperative or British civil-servantese) actually works better? And by “works better” I mean willing compliance, not just obedience. Contrast this plea for funding:
    “If you don’t mind, and if you think the content of this news letter is critical for the dignified living and survival of humanity and other species on earth, please forward it to your friends and spread the word. It’s time for humanity to come together as one family! You can subscribe to our news letter here ” with, say, the demands of some American alternative news media. I don’t have a sample,, but basically, they say, “If you don’t fund us, Trump will win!”
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – Good point. The communication target can be clarity or persuasion or both. Or other things, in other situations. Building the relationship with the customer (actual or intended) is also part of the calculation.

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