The Capital One credit card has a long running campaign with celebrity actors like Samuel L. Jackson. Their mantra is “What’s in your wallet?” You may or may not have given any thought to that question, but you may stop and think about this question directed at your own company, “What’s in your product?
No matter how long you have been in business, you always have to stop and ask yourself, “Is my product or service still relevant? Do people still like it or need it? One of my health club clients a few years ago said to me, “I know that people really don’t need to come to my gym to get in shape.” That insight and honesty floored me, but he was right.
My wife and I recently spent 10 days in New York. We’re both from there originally and have family and friends living in New York and in New Jersey. New York City seems to be on everyone’s top 5 list for many reasons. It’s vibrant, exciting and filled with a ton of things to do. Amidst the tall buildings in Manhattan, I saw more trees, flowers and honey bees than I do in Los Angeles. And the one thing that really stood out for me, the people in New York are in much better shape than in most cities I’ve visited.
I made that statement to my wife as we were having a couple of drinks in a popular restaurant/bar looking out over Park Avenue. She knew the answer right away and said, “We all walk here. We don’t drive cars. We take the subway while walking up and down the stairs. We walk many blocks to work, to restaurants, to the theatre. Our minds and bodies are active here in New York.” It’s one of the reasons I married her. She’s always right.
I really felt alive there. I walked more in those 10 days in NYC than I did in the last 10 months in Los Angeles. I couldn’t help thinking about what my client had said about people not really needing his gym to get in shape. My mind was racing back to a time when we used to do more physical work as human beings. We weren’t even thinking about working out in a gym in those days because we were always lifting and carrying things. We all seemed more active in our daily lives. I don’t remember eating any better, but we never skipped a meal like people do today. We got our “three square meals” and some snacks here and there, but we were always active. Kids today exercise their fingers on cell phones, iPads and gaming consoles. So do many adults.
We’ve gotten a little lazy today. I heard a comedian say, “I hire someone to work out for me.” Funny, and we can all relate. When people ask what I do to stay in good shape, I tell them, ‘I try to eat right and I play a lot of golf.’ It sounds good, but I ride in a golf cart, so I’m not getting in all the walking that people envision.
My wife and I are doing a major remodel of our home and I find myself among the crew helping out, moving things here and there, cleaning up the debris around the yard, and taking care of our landscaping. I enjoy that kind of exercise and it helps keep me in decent shape. So, what’s in your gym that I need that I’m not getting in my everyday life? Interesting question, right? It’s a question a marketer like me is always thinking about, especially when trying to help my clients in the health club industry.
While I was out on the East Coast, I played in the annual Gold’s Gym Golf Tournament in Monroe, New York. Gold’s Gym owners Mike Epstein and Bill Austin put on a great charity golf tournament, the proceeds of which go to the American Diabetes Association. About 90 golfers including myself have enjoyed this tournament for over 17 years. Mike MCs the event and is so entertaining. There’s a golfer who I see every year at this tournament who used to weigh over 450 pounds. He’s about 230 now. Looks amazing. I asked what motivated him to lose all the weight. He replied, “A friend of mine said, ‘Who’s going to take care of your kids and play with them after you die from a heart attack.'”
I reminded him I was in marketing and that I always believed the right words can motivate someone to do something. He agreed, saying that his friend expressed the right words that motivated him to lose 220 pounds.
On the 10th Anniversary of the Apple iPhone, CEO Tim Cook, in a keynote from the Steve Jobs theatre at Apple Park, displayed a quote from our mutual marketing hero that read, “One of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there.”
I was in the audience at MacWorld in San Francisco when Steve Jobs introduced that first iPhone in 2007 and exclaimed, “This is the iPhone, and this will revolutionize the smart phone industry!” He was right. We wanted and needed that iPhone back then because it truly was a wonderful product. Ten years later, it keeps getting better and we still want and need it.
So, I ask you again, What’s in your product? Is it truly wonderful? Do people really need and want it? How can you revolutionize your industry? What new and exciting things can you bring to the world? What new words and pictures can you use in your ads to emotionally connect with people and thus acquire loyal customers?
I’ve said it many times before and will say it again, there’s nothing more important than our wellness. If your product or service can help make someone more fit and healthy, that is something truly wonderful indeed!