Years ago, I did a bit of free consulting ("Hey Dave, let me bounce a few ideas off of you.") for a heavy equipment operator's school. My advice was to close the school and open an adult sandbox. Seriously. Let grown-ups play on the equipment and charge through the nose. He thought that all he needed was better recruiting. Here's a picture of me on his bulldozer taken with a crappy PDA of the era. Do you think I can remember anything about his boring school except for the fact that he let me drive a bulldozer?
When I went on a press trip to learn about some new Goodyear tires, they let me drive a mine haul truck. That's me on the right. You can't help but grin when you're standing on this truck.
Do you think I remember anything about the trip besides the haul truck? (OK, maybe the flight in Mark Cuban's 757 on the way to the haul truck.)
Now, my partner Mike Dandridge dredges up (yes that was a heavy equipment joke) a story about a company in Colorado that has come through on the sandbox dream! I love it.
How would you change your business if the only thing you could offer your customers was the experience?
“Hey Dave, let me bounce a few ideas off of you.” v-funny!
i will remember this one for the boss.
did you see the registered charity number at the bottom of the letter head!
I really enjoyed this post. “Experience” is a word I got exposed to working for one of the big electronics retailers. It sounds great, but ends up floundering in theory. Or, it starts from the loftiest notion, which in the retail world has to do with elevating every one of a consumer’s senses from sight to sound and tactile, but ends up being a discussion about signage. You’ve given some very tangible hints as to how businesses can really run with the notion of providing “experience.” I’m curious of breakthrough ways this might be employed at a big box retail location?
Thanks Eric. I think the big box stores could just relax a bit and let people play with some of their merchandise. Think about an Apple store. Anyone can just park in front of a computer, or grab an iphone and start clicking and typing and pinching and dragging. They’ve got to keep some of it from being stolen, and I’m sure that a lot of the display merchandise gets broken. But, we only buy with confidence those products which we’ve seen ourselves using. So….let me ACTUALLY use the product or do a better job helping me imagine myself using it. I think the actual experience will always win…in a big way.