Princess Diana once said “life is just a journey” – simple, profound, and somewhat intimidating. I’m a goal oriented individual; a person, like many, who goes from project to project. Success and failure are more easily measured when there is an end-game; that appeals to my self-validation. On this quest for goal accomplishment I often fail to realize the journey is the greatest asset of the mission. There are often worldly prizes and acknowledgments for finishing the task at hand, but the knowledge and experience gained on the journey — well that stuff there, the stuff between the goals: that’s simply life.
If you have ever met me, you know I’m not the guy to trivialize goals for the sake of “smelling the roses”. That’s not me. I’ll trade idealism for pragmatism almost every time – but, there is something to be said about life happening between each “big” event. Like the road trip you took with your buddies in college – the event at the end of the trip was awesome, but looking back the car ride is why we call it a road trip. A lot of good times are had as we trudge the road of happy destiny.
Work with me as I turn this back to business.
Retailers, casinos, arenas all have one thing in common – they are in the money making business. Business decisions revolve around the axiom of turning a profit. The retailer’s job is to get the purchaser to the point-of-purchase, the casino to move the patron to the slot machine, and the arena to facilitate concession purchases (a lot more to this one, but you get it). The transaction of goods/services for money is the destination. But what does the buyer remember? Do they remember the opulence of the casino, the aesthetics of the store, and the digital engagement of the arena? Of course they do! The experience of the customer, what they see, how they engage. This is the journey. The journey provided to the customer is a crucial step in differentiating one brand from the next.