Originally posted 4/30/2012, Revised 5/31/2023
Recently I was at a presentation about creating raving fan customers. After mentioning that he is a raving fan of a rather unsuccessful local major league baseball team, the speaker asked the audience – who wanted customers that identified with their business the same way that raving fans dedicate themselves to their favorite teams? That question got me thinking about how a sports team with a multi-season losing record can earn and keep their extremely loyal fans.
My conclusion is that, just like all businesses, the definition of the product of a sports team goes way beyond the obvious. In addition to win/lose record, their product includes:
- Their history
- Their records
- Their players
- Their managers and coaches
- Their venue
- Their customer service department (ticketing)
- Their uniforms
- The food and other amenities available at their venue
- The overall atmosphere at their venue
- Their traditions
- And much, much more.
The point is – are you on top of the complete definition of your product? Here is a hint; the definition of your product includes a lot of intangibles that reflect what your customers (clients, patients, team, vendors, etc.) value about their experience with your business, not simply the physical product or service you deliver. If you don’t know what your audiences value about your products or services, one way to find out is to ask them. Many of their replies will surprise you.