Be our guest! Be our guest!
Put our service to the test.
Tie your napkin ’round your neck, cherie
And we’ll provide the rest.
Lumiere from Beauty and The Beast

 What are you willing to do to provide people with service that not only keeps them coming back – but enables them to tell your story for you?

In reality, most companies cannot answer this question. They play it safe and conservative and create products and services that do not offend and provide utility, but not much more. The philosophy behind this is not to offend. To make something that everyone can utilize, but the truth is, when you aim for the middle, you are throat deep in competition trying to do the exact same thing.

You have designed a product or a service that aims to please everyone, but wows no one, and therefore you put yourself in a position where you cannot differentiate yourself and are labeled as a commodity. A product that is okay until you customer can find something better, or something less expensive that does the exact same thing.

However, when you stand for something and provide a service that no one else can, you may lose the ability to be the vanilla ice cream of your category. Still, you have gained something far more valuable, loyal and devoted customers.

The best brands know this. Warren Buffet talks of it. We must be brave enough to realize that our product and service are not for everyone and concentrate all of our resources and people on developing extraordinary services for those we can help, and create the opportunity for them to become champions of our brand.

The Kentucky Derby this year turned 148 years old. Steeped in tradition, but realizing that to maintain its place in history, it must change to remain relevant to a new generation. Recently I read an article where the Kentucky Derby wants to be known as the “Super Bowl of the Spring.” They understand their demographics are changing and the Kentucky Derby must change how it markets itself and is perceived to bring in Millennial and Gen Z patrons.

They are doing this in intelligent ways. Not by ignoring the traditions of the past, but by augmenting them. Using platforms like TikTok to educate a new generation on odds placing, the pedigrees of the horses, and how to place bets. They realize the younger generation, as much as they want to be seen as fashion-forward at the event, wants to share their fashion choices online. Therefore, they have partnered with brands to create selfie stations, enabling sharing on Instagram.

They also have been looking into different experiences that will appeal to younger audiences in terms of day of concerts and the like, to make the event relevant to them, while still having areas set aside for the older crowd to bask in the traditions they grew up with.

Each brand needs to understand who its audience is, who they are not, and how to remain relevant and valuable in their eyes, minds, and souls. Remember that if those who do not provide the experience within the company are not bought in and believe in the value, no one else will.

So what are you doing first to understand who your audience truly is, why they find you valuable, what they expect from you, and how you can exceed their expectations?

We are living in a world of experiences. People will forget what they paid, but they will never forget how they felt (good or bad) once they have handed over their hard-earned cash.

What will making these changes enable you to do that you can only dream of now?

Ben Baker is the CEO of Your Brand Marketing. A strategic communication firm designed to enable you to align your internal teams with change management initiatives and other issues, allowing you all to move forward profitably together.


Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash