You may think no way—fun centers offer a service and Apple offers consistent cutting-edge products. You have to change that mindset.
One important thing Apple and fun centers have in common is they both deliver experiences. Sure, Apple’s are wrapped around amazing products, but its communication (website, TV commercials), product packaging and intuitive interfaces make the experience of owning an Apple product amazing. Amazing experiences will create advocates of purchasers, not just loyal guests. This is true whether you’re selling a product or a service.
There’s a great article that discusses how average businesses can think innovatively like Apple. You can read the full article here, at Forrester Research’s “empowered” website (along with many other great articles.) It will give you the background on what “adjacent” and “convergent” possibilities are in the quote below, but as you read this excerpt, think about how you can do this at your fun center:
- Exploit the adjacent possible. Start with a clear understanding of the needs people have. Observe them. Watch what they do that frustrates them. Expand this idea to a complete product experience. And identify the adjacent possibilities your company — or any company — could exploit.
- Depend on convergent adjacencies. Catalog the adjacent spaces that digital disruption is creating. Think a little wilder. How can your competitor and quasi-competitors get in the middle between you and your customer?
- Persist in the path of innovation. Don’t just make yours better, cheaper, faster, simpler. Compensate for inadequate capabilities before you need to. Go faster than you need to. Because in the world of digital disruption, you need to get there before your competitors.
Observe—Do line-ups frustrate your guests? Maybe there’s a way to streamline the purchase of passes or admission online.
Outhink—What crazy thing could you implement that would one-up the experience one of your competitors is offering? Don’t limit your thinking, or edit the ideas because they are “too expensive” or “will never work”—you can be critical later when you’re measuring the ideas against your business goals.
Persist—If you have an idea that everyone thinks would be great, but…insert your rationalize buzz-kill thought here. Get around this by planning how you could eliminate the “buts.” If it feels completely terrifying, you could be on the right track! However, sometimes the smallest changes in process, procedure or service delivery can significantly improve the guest experience.