April 6, 2008

Circus Reconceptualized

We just got back from a Cirque Du Soleil performance. I had already seen them a few years back in NY but this show was different on many levels. Our 'tapis rouge' tickets entitled us to valet parking, a pre-show cocktail in a cool lounge, dramatic lighting, electronic music and great food. You realize that every single detail was carefully designed in a way to provide a multi-sensorial experience. Marketing guru W.Chan Kim, in his Blue Ocean Strategy, describes well how this Canadian troupe has totally redefined the circus industry.

During one of the amazing acts, my wife turns to me to say how it's clear that the average person only develops a fraction of his or her physical capabilities. It made me think that the same applies to our intellectual capabilities... to our ability to learn and be open to new ideas.  

Cirque do Soleil is a wonderful reminder that any category, no matter how well established, can be reconceptualized. In this case, morphing the traditional circus experience with elements of contemporary opera, broadway musical and rock concert. A few examples come to mind of other companies that have also borrowed lessons from other experiences to reconceptualize the businesses they operate in. Take W Hotels, that combine elements of the urban bar scene and the aesthetics of the fashion world to create a differentiated hotel experience. Or Virgin, that did the same to airport lounges. I'm sure there are valuable lessons for any marketer who works in service-related categories.

1 comment:

Alexandre van Beeck said...

Gostei da analogia entre o incrível desempenho da equipe do "Cirque" e como nós (incluindo as empresas) podemos nos reinventar.
Ter a cabeça aberta para tentar o novo, não temer o risco (sabendo calculá-lo)e o constante treinamento/aperfeiçoamento são a base para conseguirmos atingir esses obejtivos.