What Are You, REALLY?

Detroit Local Case Study #4

I've been obsessing over this question lately. In an effort to walk my own talk, I took myself through a marketing workshop and strategy development. This new website is one of the implications of that activity.

What are you? It seems like it should be a very simple question. And, yet the answer can be the difference between unmitigated success and abysmal failure. Consider the following example:

Before she dreamed up The Flower House, Lisa Waud was the owner of Pot & Box in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At that point, had you ever heard of her business, you probably thought they were florists. Before The Flower House, your mental image of Pot & Box probably looked like a pretty typical florist shop. It might have been a more artisan-y version of a florist, but still--someone you called for a wedding or an event or to have a beautiful bouquet sent to cheer up a friend.

Lisa's mental model (credit: Mark Bonchek and Barry Libert)  was different. She didn't think of Pot & Box as being in the florist business. She thought of them as in the art-as-community-engagement business. As stated on their website: 

Pot & Box is a friendly force of local creativity, utilizing floral design and horticultural décor to interact with its community.

And thus, Lisa's mental model expanded her business opportunities. It was this mindset that led her to purchase a $250 abandoned home in Hamtramck and turn it into a showcase for floral artists from around the nation. That defining decision launched Pot & Box nationally and paved the way for new engagements like The Flower Truck, Detroit Flower Week, and The Detroit Flower Week Dinner.

So, if we consider that:

  • Southwest is not in the business of airplanes, but in the service business
  • And, Tesla thinks of itself as a technology platform company that sells cars
  • And, Dominos has redefined itself as a technology company that sells pizza...

What business are you REALLY in? Are you a gym operator OR do you provide neighborhood-based health and wellness experiences? Are you you a market research firm OR are you in the fearless decisions business?

(It's worth noting that your mental model should be driven by your WHY and Simon Sinek can tell you all about that.)

If you know what you REALLY are (and why), you're far more likely to get where you really WANT to go.

Small Talking About Detroit Business

Small Talking About Detroit Business

Field Trip!

Field Trip!