In Toronto’s Kensington Market, there’s a coffee shop called Sublime Espresso. I haven’t been inside, or tried their coffee, but if I was in the mood for espresso, chances are I would try theirs. That’s the power of positioning—if you do it right, you can own a space in the consumer’s mind. If I’m craving espresso, Sublime Espresso will come to mind. While it may be a niche market, and they’re only one small shop, it’s the smartest way to build a brand. Own a small space first before you try taking on Starbucks.
Owning a tiny segment of a larger market has worked in so many (retail) cases: Lulu Lemon, Subway, Whole Foods, and the list goes on…
Sometimes, by specializing in a niche, you become a Purple Cow. You’re noteworthy BECAUSE you are small, focused, and doing something the bigger guys aren’t.
This reminds me of a great tweet from Jason Fried: Just had food delivered and the delivery guy gives me his business card and says “I also do shower doors and mirrors”. Would you have that guy do your shower door or mirror? Probably not…
I wrote a post a long time ago, drawing correlations between a startup entrepreneur and Biggie Smalls. There another occupation which has commonalities with a founder: the professional golfer.
In order for a golfer to be truly great, he (or she) has to have these key fundamentals locked down: driving, approach shots, pitching, chipping, putting, sand shots. They need to stay focused through adversity and keep their mental game as sharp as everything else. They have a team behind them: their caddie, coaches, manager, sponsors, and family. They have to carefully manage risk, respond to how the field is playing, and adapt to the course conditions. Most of all they have streaks. At one point they’re on top of the world, next thing they’re not. Sound familiar?
Similarly needs to have their skillset honed: product development, marketing, team management, finance, biz dev, etc. They definitely need to stay focused through adversity (team member leaving, bad press, etc) and remain optimistic. Behind them is their caddie (co-founder), coach (advisor), manager (board), sponsors (VCs), family (support system). They need to adapt to changes in the competitive landscape. And definitely deal with the emotional swings of trying to change the world.
One big difference, though: golfers rarely change the world outside of golf. Entrepreneurs can alter humanity…
The title of this post is pretty ironic considering I haven’t written in my blog in some…
No excuses, of course. But things have been busy. I’ll try to make more room for blogging in the coming months, especially since a cadre of my millions of readers have been mailing me beautiful (but angry) hand-calligraphed letters demanding more of my poignant prose. This one is for you, Judy.
Time is everything. It’s the only thing we have. Despite being infinite, it runs out for us pretty quick. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”
More perplexing is that time is relative. It moves way slower for a house fly than it does for us. Everything has it’s own relationship with time, and that can change from moment to moment. Our perception of time gets skewed everyday - 5 minutes in a jammed, smelly, subway car feels way longer than 5 minutes on a golf course (for me at least).
I gained a new appreciation for time a couple weeks ago at the Toronto Startup Weekend. We had only 48 hours to prepare a demo and pitch of Unbox to a panel of judges - the entire weekend was a blur. It was as if I was being controlled by someone/something else, my body just going through the motions at mach-speed. And we managed to pull it off, placing second behind Herobox
I would have never thought what we did was possible to do in 2 days. But you CANbend time to your will. With the right help and a good plan, almost anything is doable. I had a great team of guys that pulled through, creating a live demo that wowed the crowd.
I’ve also realized the opposite since Unbox has been unfolding (er unboxing): time is required to make big decisions and solve big problems. Your subconscious needs cycles to crunch through data. One night you think you’ve got the solution, wake up the next day and things might be completely different. Sleep is crucial to tying the loose ends left behind from the day. The old saying, “I’ll sleep on it” has a lot of truth to it.
It takes a lot of patience to let things happen and fall into place. Einstein said, “Time exists to stop everything from happening at once.” Just like a puzzle, with pieces scattered on the table, some missing, some hidden, it can’t be done all at once. But if you start with the corner pieces (always) and get the obvious ones clicked together, the landscape starts to appear.
Unfortunately, though, moving fast and slow at the same time is paradoxical. My solution is to move fast on the knowns. Go hard where there is least resistance while trying not to box (wink) yourself in. There will be some waste, some imperfections, but time waits for no one…
The photo was taken in Sri Lanka at the Kandy train station. The clock displays the departure time for train #2.
Andrew Chen’srecent post on product/market fit reawakened some questions I’ve had about the topic. It seems to be the most crucial and sought after stage in the life to a successful startup, but at the same time the most elusive. So far, p/m fit has been defined as:
“… [Being] in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” (Marc Andreessen, who coined the term in this post)
“Customer Validation proves that you have found a set of customers and a market who react positively to the product: By relieving those customers of some of their money.” (Steve Blank)
“In my experience, achieving product/market fit requires at least 40% of users saying they would be “very disappointed” without your product.” (Sean Ellis)
Identifying when you’ve hit p/m fit is hard because every case is different. The p/m fit that the above people are talking about is usually one of extremely high volume and high growth businesses, which is ideal when looking at it from an investor’s perspective. However, big markets often take a sizable team and hefty bank-roll to capture, especially if it’s an established market with lots of competition and high costs/barriers to entry. Most founders don’t have the experience or credentials to raise money on an unproven idea, and most investors will take an established company with traction over a fancy slide deck. Not only that, but going after that big market at first doesn’t allow you to learn, iterate, and measure through the lean startup feedback loop.
In my opinion, the best way to achieve product/market fit is to narrow your focus and go after a niche market with a basic product (MVP) and try to get that growing/earning/sticking first. The key is to start with a sub-market, or a piece of a much larger market, and work your way up. Would you climb Everest beforeKilimanjaro, or the other way around? Would you play Pebble Beach before learning to golf on cheap public courses? Would you enroll in the World Series of Poker for $10k before playing a smaller local tournament?
Pump the breaks! Don’t try to beat Paypal out of the gate. Instead build a focused payments product for groups. Don’t try to build the next Facebook, instead build a mobile photo sharing app for closed networks of friends. These are all simple apps that take on a smaller sub-section of a larger market, and thus have reached sub-market fit with a simple (but effective) product. They technically already have p/m fit just in a smaller market with a basic product.
Opposites of this trend are plentiful. Blekko hasn’t made much of a dent in the search market yet, and they’ve been at it for 4 years and have raised $25M (although they’ve inadvertently addressed the techie sub-market with their tagging feature, so some credit is due). Cuil ($33M in funding), SearchMe ($43M in funding) and Powerset ($22.5M in funding) have fizzled because they went after a massive highly-competitive market out of the gate with a product that should have been built for a niche audience first.
Segway is a famous example. The vision required a lot of upfront capital and R&D which pretty much priced them out of the mainstream market, ruining their chances for a instant mainstream success. The Segway has become a great vehicle for certain use cases like city tours, security patrol, managers of large manufacturing companies that need to drive around their facility, arenas and stadiums, airports, etc. This is where the Segway should have started. Quietly make sales to satisfy these smaller markets, driving down the cost of production so that the later models could be sold in a Walmart at a reasonable cost.
Color is unfortunately becoming the most recent case study of going too big too soon. They had a very counter-intuitive product that needed a ton of iterating and network effects before raising a boatload of money, let alone publicly launching. Everyone, especially Robert Scoble, was dumbfounded by the first user experience. Had they released their product at SXSW like Twitter or to a smaller audience in a localized geography, they wouldn’t could have gotten feedback early and maybe avoid tainting their brand.
Chris Dixon has an excellent post about this, dubbing it the “thin edge of the wedge” strategy. It’s basically starting with a smaller market and simple product to satisfy that market to get your foot in the door. Trying to take Rome in a day requires an army, but having a long-term strategy and evolving plan is key to making an impact with a small team in today’s crowded markets.
Product/market fit is still a valid and useful term. But in my opinion it isn’t a singular event. You will ultimately want multiple product-market fits (or sub-market fits), each time getting closer to the larger market allowing you to learn and iterate along the way. Doesn’t mean your vision won’t be realized, or that you have to start with a product you don’t want to build. Evaluate a market on quality of competition, size of the overall market, and difficulty of the problem and then whittle down the market as much as possible. Scale back too far, and you’re making stuff like this. The right balance of humility and patience will make for a much higher rate of success, decreased risk, and hopefully an anti-trend will emerge of sustainable startups.
We did this with Penzu: started in a subsection (journaling) of a larger market (writing and note-taking) and achieved simple-product/sub-market fit. We positioned ourselves in an even smaller niche at first by focusing on private (as opposed to public) writing. Penzu is the best app for journaling on the web and has paved the way for us to realize the original (larger) vision of putting a note-pad on the web.
Update: Great concept by David Lee (and Chris Dixon) by paying attention to how YOU fit with your market, called founder-market fit. Should be the first filter used when picking your next project.
Above is a picture of Christopher Wallace, more popularly known as Biggie Smalls or the Notorious B.I.G. He was arguably one of the greatest rappers to ever live, even though it was only for a short 25 years. His story is pretty amazing (check out the movie) but not necessarily a unique one. A ton of rappers have come from similar beginnings so these lessons can be applied to many successful hip-hop artists.
Biggie was born to a single mother in Brooklyn in the early 70s. Like many families in the area they struggled to get by, his mom had to work two jobs to support them. He eventually turned to dealing crack at the age of 12 to make his own money, and dropped out of school to become a dealer until he was arrested at 18 years old and put in prison for 9 months. Apparently prison is where he was able to think and focus on his craft. He came out and recorded his first demo which piqued the interest of Sean Combs (then at Uptown Records) and kick-started his career. Biggie Smalls became a phenom in the east-coast rapping scene, his first album going platinum and his second “Life After Death” is one of the best selling albums of all time.
As an entrepreneur, Biggie (and rappers alike), are the truest form. They create value and success from almost nothing. You can break down the process he went through and compare it to how a startup (lean in particular) gets to scale.
Entreprenuers have to make a choice early on: what do I want to work on? What problem or market excites me? I don’t think Biggie was ever considering Country music—he had immense passion for rap and was doing this in his spare time. He didn’t have to think about it much, it just came to him naturally (speaking of which, check out my previous post on this topic). He was rapping on the streets and had his skill perfected early on (see incredible video of his freestyle on the streets of Brooklyn—probably at the age of 17—below). So his vertical didn’t require much initial thought.
2. Customer Discovery
For rappers, their market is fairly obvious so very little customer discovery (finding out WHO your customer is) is required. Their “sound” is their brand and is what sets them apart — like a company’s positioning. Just like a competing product in a crowded market, their voice can’t be the same as another rapper, neither can their flow or cadence.
Biggie nailed this: his voice was so distinct and his flow so unmistakeable that others around him new he had something special. Also, at the time his lyrics and subject matter were pretty novel (now, rapping about violence etc is more than the norm). Eminem is another example of an MC who can’t be mistaken—his lyrics and his tone are like nobody else’s. Combine that with one-of-a-kind beats and you’ve got a solid start.
Most entrepreneurs, however, will tell you that a good product isn’t enough. The biggest obstacle is always distribution, which in the record industry is run by the 4 or 5 major labels. So without the help of the oligopoly, you might as well give up on the dream of Cristal and gold chains since the odds aren’t in your favor. More on this later…
This is usually in the form of a demo tape or rough track recorded (at least in the 90s) on a cheap multi-track recorder. For a web startup, this is often a quickly coded site (AKA a MVP) that solves the core problem or performs the desired task. Music doesn’t solve a problem directly, so it’s efficacy is way harder to measure. It’s something that must be tested on crowds first, however the gut feeling from a record exec, given their distribution power, can be enough.
Biggie created a demo that somehow made it’s way to Sean (“P. Diddy”) Combs, who wasn’t exactly a big shot. He signed Biggie but was immediately fired from Uptown. He believed in him so much (and a few other artists like Craig Mack and Faith Evans) that he launched his own label, Bad Boy Records. That was a risky step for him, akin to an angel investor backing a tiny team. Diddy saw what Biggie COULD BE and helped develop the end product. Having an angel investor like that is key: one who can see the same vision you see and has the experience, contacts, and now-how to execute and accelerate towards it.
4. Customer Validation
Customer validation is optimizing your product to solve the problem or goal you set in step one. Are people dancing to my music? Are they buying single tracks? Music groups and bands do a ton of live shows and concerts to get an early following and to learn which songs work and which don’t. In Biggie’s case there wasn’t much to it; you might say that he was doing discovery and validation since he was a young boy, rapping for his friends and freestyling on the streets. His rise to popularity was fast, his product not changing much along the way.
Biggie definitely did shows and was a feature on other Bad Boy tracks before his single dropped. That might have been a way to get his name out there and see how people react as well, sort of like a beta or developer preview.
5. Customer Creation
Customer creation is your distribution and marketing. Getting customers and making sure that you can repeat the process. Since the music industry is a well oiled machine, their strategies for this were already established. Music videos, award shows, commercials, concerts, interviews, and the like (usually through media channels they own) are all part of the process.
A startup usually has limited resources and in this step is figuring out how to create customers ad infinitum. In essence they are finding a distribution and marketing strategy that operates at a positive ROI. For example, a concert tour for a private online journaling tool won’t create enough (or even the right) customers to justify the expense.
Once all the above has been attained/completed, it’s time to throw as much money behind this as possible and scale. Get as many fans, customers, and as much product out there as you can. For a tech startup this may mean raising more money, beefing up back-end architecture, and staffing up. For an artist this means coming out with multiple albums, doing a tour, collaborations, and more.
Biggies second and last album, named Life After Death was released posthumously (ironically). The media attention from his shooting and the East Coast / West Coast rivalry surrounding it was a huge bonus for Bad Boy and others. It definitely brought hip-hop and rap to the forefront and made it a part of mainstream culture in the US.
Others have written about the correlation between starting a band and a startup, which is spot on. If you’re thinking of doing either, there’s always so much to learn before starting out. Lean principles are especially applicable and might give you more control than shooting in the dark. Rock on, Eric and Steve!
Recently while taking a shower I noticed the slogan on my shampoo bottle: Do what comes naturally. Not sure if it’s the best fit for the Kiss My Face brand (I know, their products are natural, but still it doesn’t work as well as it could), but I love the sentiment. It struck me as worthy of a blog post since I’ve given it thought numerous times…
Simple but powerful: If you are good at something, don’t fight it. Do what comes naturally.
This seems so obvious but you’d be surprised how many people try to make things harder than they should be. If there is something you can do better than most people, something that doesn’t require much effort but at the same time brings you joy, then that is your calling. Don’t go down a path that “makes sense” or is “what people expect”. Do what you do and you’ll be happy you did.
Obvious examples of this are in sports, where a person just has a natural gift despite the odds. Spud Webb, born out of poverty and way too short to consider being an athelete—let alone a basketball player—won the 1986 slam dunk contest over defending champ Dominique Wilkins, who was over a foot taller than him:
Clearly Spud had a gift. He was doing what came naturally to him. Give him a basketball, and he knew what to do with it. I doubt he could do the same with a paintbrush. And vice versa: Michaelangelo gravitated towards art at such a young age, despite his father’s wishes for him to “study grammar with the Humanist Francesco da Urbino in Florence” (thanks Wikipedia). I doubt he would have been a very good point guard. Steve Jobs said that he “saw” the iPhone before it was made. He envisoined a device that changed the world long before it was designed. Imagine if he had been a farmer!! He can see the future of computing (andalways could) so doing other stuff was never an option—though he did try meddling with animation, but John Lasseter at Pixar purposely kept him out of the loop.
Obviously, as Malcolm Gladwell argues in Outliers, talent is just the kernel. It takes thousands of hours of practice to hone a skill and to be the best at your craft. Just because something is easy for you doesn’t mean you’ll be the best right away. But you gotta start somewhere.
Another point: it doesn’t have to be your passion. Actually, so many people are passionate about things they suck at. Mainly because they want to prove to themselves that they can do it. One thing that an entrepreneur has to learn quickly is to stick to what he’s good at. If you aren’t good with numbers or filing, don’t do your own bookkeeping. If you’re a crappy designer, hire one. Help isn’t for the weak, it’s what all successful people have done at one point or another so they could focus on what they do best.
So pour yourself a glass of Mangosteen juice, sit on the couch without the TV on, and figure out what it is that you have always been able to do with ease. It will take some work to find it—a skill that comes easy is often taken for granted—but when you do, see how you can use and hone that skill going forward. You’ll be happier for it, I promise.
The latest juice from my mind-grapes: the two most important things you’ll need to do as an entrepreneur are PRIORITIZING and exercising PATIENCE…
First, Priority ;)
I’m assuming that you already have ideas or product improvements which you have yet to prioritize (if not, that’s another post for later). For me, good ideas and features are a curse. Mainly because I have to choose which one in the heap is best when it’s hard to measure what the outcome will be beforehand. To guide me in these uncertain situations, I’ve been following some basic rules:
1. Work on features that affect the most users/customers. I got this from theCampaign Monitor guys when featured on the 37 Signals blog. It made a lot of sense: if you’re working on a small piece of your product when there are other things that can be added or improved upon that affect significantly more users, then you’re wasting your time. Lately we’ve added some incredible features to Penzu that affect everyone AND satisfy the next point…
2. Spend time on things that enhance your differentiation. This isn’t anything new, but people tend to lose focus when chasing the money dragon. If you’ve got a list of features, work on the ones that amplify your uniqueness or expands it in ways your users (or competition) will never expect. An example for us was adding Prompts — something that I haven’t seen on the web before — which has improved the overall journaling experience for all our users.
3. Only choose what will help you achieve your most sought-after goal. if your goal is to get a lot of users, work on things that will DEFINITELY get you more users. If you goal is to increase sales, work on things that will boost your top line. You get the picture. Focus on specific goals and implement things that WILL work. The ones that might not aren’t top priority. Start with the ones that have a better chance, like increasing your price point to boost revenues (so long as you’ve tested it first so that the conversion dip doesn’t result in a net loss).
A note for the above: Make sure you are measuring and learning from your additions and product changes. Set a goal for each, and see how you measure up. Doesn’t have to be a precise goal, just something to give you an idea of progress and efficacy. All your prioritization should have a layer of metrics and data supporting it and driving it. Easier said than done, but get an AARRR refresher here if you need one.
Next, Patience (Thanks for Being Patient)
This is tough for me, but everything takes time. Especially when you have a small team. Bigger undertakings take even longer, so I often look at what satisfies the above criteria AND if it can be done in a short period time. Sometimes you need to tackle the big pieces, especially if they are top priority. But don’t dive into a big feature unless you are almost certain it will help satisfy your goals. This can be done from user feedback, analytics, etc.
With us, the more time that passes, the better things will get. Period. The product will get better, we will get smarter, and our user base will continue to grow. That’s comforting to know: that we won’t die without constant attention. (Tortoise and the Hare come to mind.) This helps ease the startup stress, especially after reading about other simple startups/ideas exiting for bajillions of dollars.
Also, rushing gets you nowhere. Trying to whip something incomplete out there (and especially those that market half-assed products too early) usually end up regretting the early launch. Take your time, stay quiet, learn learn learn, and then decide how to launch or market your product (love this article on launching by Eric Ries btw). Fast is often overrated. If you have competitors breathing down your neck, and a list of obvious features, then speed is crucial. But not essential. Get the product working so you don’t have to double-back. If it’s taking too long, then trim your todo list!
The 37 Signals guys are great at preaching the above. Rework is spot on. So stop scrambling, stressing, and asking the wrong people for feedback (which can sometimes be a small group of your users that will take you to the local maximum). Save your midnight oil for the things that matter and start building quality, useful, and efficient products!
That’s it for now. Comment below if you have any thoughts!
I’ve been obsessed with the Paleo diet lately. After reading a post on Tim Ferriss’ blog, I was hooked. I’ve been reading and learning and it’s something that opened my eyes to a completely new way to live. If you struggle with staying healthy, especially through bad food choices, read this (and this) book and it will change your life.
Summed up, the paleo diet is eating according to our history and genetics. The way we eat, the fuel that the modern world runs on, isn’t suited for us. Our hunter-and-gatherer ancestors ate a specific diet for millions of years, and just recently (in the last 5,000-10,000 years) we drastically changed what we consume. We became agrarian—which allowed for modern civilization to exist as we know it—but at the cost of our health and well-being.
Hunters and gatherers were extremely fit, tall, and almost disease free. This was because of regular exercise and eating a consistent diet of lean meats, fresh fruits, and seasonal vegetables. The above pic is exactly what happened. We moved from a healthy lifestyle to being fattened up by starchy carbs and more recently processed foods. Before farming, things like grains, dairy, and legumes didn’t exist (how can you milk a wild cow?). These foods are now the mainstay of our diet (and economy) and are not inline with our genetic requirements.
There’s lots of evidence to back this up, but the main one that gets me is this: they feed grain to pigs and cows to fatten them up. Yes, we make our animals obese. And that’s only done through overfeeding of corn and other grains. It’s so bad that cows who eat this stuff get sick—because of the havoc it wreaks on the immune system—and so anitbiotics are used to keep them alive long enough so they can be slaughtered. Terrible. A great post by John Robbins outlines some frightening things. A must read.
Without getting all technical, this is the gist.
Things to never eat: - grains and grain products - dairy - legumes - processed foods - too much saturated fat
Eat in moderation: - sea salt - alcohol - sugar (unrefined, like raw honey, agave, or maple syrup are the best)
Things you can eat unlimited amounts of: - lean grass-fed meats - wild fish and seafood - poultry - veggies - fruits
If you want to learn more, and lose weight immediately, cure your diabetes, prevent cancer, osteoporosis, and more, read the books mentioned above. You will never look at the world the same!
The latest of my learnings is this: opinions are valuable. While that seems obvious, putting it into practice is tough. It means going out there and hearing everyone’s two cents, and letting their remarks hit you like cream pies in the face, over and over. Not easy to do.
When you have a consumer product—especially a web-based one—accepting feedback is the norm. It’s hard to build something people love on the first try. Listening and incorporating user wants and needs is an obvious strategy that, if done correctly, promises progress. So bring on the cream pie! Tell us what you hate, what you love, and what we can do better! Everything you hear is worthy information, not to be ignored, right? Almost…
While all feedback is valuable, the meaningful and actionable information is below the surface. This is one of the hardest things to do in the customer validation phase of customer development. Listening to people complain about your service or problems won’t move the needle much. HEARING their pain and trying to find the real source of their feedback is how you take things up a notch. There’s a difference between hearing and listening!
So when a customer says to us, “Your service sucks! I have to lock my entries one by one? Is there any way to lock them all at once?” We don’t just listen and give him or her a “lock all entries” button. What we hear is that they want separate journals which can be encrypted and locked. Or when our users say, “The choices of backgrounds isn’t very broad” We don’t just add more backgrounds. We HEAR that people want to customize their journals and make them more personal.
Stripping away the emotion and “small problem” is where the constructive information lies. The big problem isn’t always clear to the complainant. If it was, they would suggest it. This is where the entrepreneur shines. When the puzzle pieces are scattered on the table and need to be snapped together to complete the picture. It takes creative visualization to do that—a requisite skill for entrepreneurs.
This is a good outlook to have in personal life as well. It’s way harder to go out there and take pies in the face when the feedback is about you. For some reason we get our back up, close our ears, and don’t look at it as data. We take it personally and assume we are being attacked. Sometimes people are projecting, or they’re simply attacking you for the wrong reasons, but what people tell you has value. And if you notice a trend, especially if it’s something you’ve been ignoring, listen up. Take it in, and decide what they’re really getting at. Being open to other people doesn’t mean that you have to do what they say. They don’t realize it, but, just like customer feedback, they are doing you a favor. Only their input can make you (the product) better. If more information means you can be a better person, why ignore it?
The kernel here is that people’s opinions are just information. They aren’t personal attacks or offensive remarks, just another perspective. Honesty is invaluable. Just be prepared to HEAR it.
Since watching a talk from Kathy Sierra (after the jump), my view on creating passionate customers has changed drastically. Kathy is a beacon of hope for all of those mediocre products and services out there. Her credo: Don’t create a better product, create a better user of that product.
I couldn’t have understood that more after my trip to Sri Lanka’s tea region. There, amidst thousands of acres of mountainous tea plantations, I learned about how tea is grown, harvested, produced, and tasted. I will never drink tea the same way again; I now have a higher-resolution experience every time I sip a cup of Orange Pekoe or Darjeeling. Knowing that tea grown at varying elevations with different processes will produce a completely new taste profile (all from the same plant!) makes me want to explore all the regions and brands to find the ultimate tea for my palette.
Knowledge is like a magnifying lens that can instantly enhance an interaction with a consumable or service. Like with photography, knowing about the Bokeh effect makes you pine for a really high-end digital-SLR. Or with wine, tasting a 1982 Petrus will make your next glass of cheap wine taste like Welch’s. Same goes for single-malt scotch, performance cars, flat screen tvs, and all the great products people are obsessed with.
If you are entering a robust product category, you can take advantage of the available knowledge in that category and educate your users. Make them the best they can be at using your product. Make it easy for them to understand what they are consuming and why it is so special. Apple does a great job of this with their seminars and Genius Bar. You can learn how to use a Mac and not only become a better Mac user, but increase your digital IQ. All great brands that create products in such spaces do a good job of this: Williams Sonoma with their Wine Club, Calphalon with their Culinary Centers (where you use only Calphalon products), BMW with their Driver Training courses, and the list goes on and on.
This video is a must watch for anyone with customers (or looking to find some!). Thanks Kathy!