Know Who You Are…and You Will “Get It”

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 11th, 2009 10 Comments

And its not just knowing who “you are”…or who your small business is..but its knowing who your “customers are”.

You’ll enjoy this summary of a story I read in the Wall Street Journal of a guy who “gets it”. Makes a great small business marketing lesson that everyone should read.

In a ski resort town frequented by the affluent, 42-year-old Ed Mumm invested $500,000.00 in creating a giant sandbox and stocking it with bulldozers, earth-movers and other heavy equipment….for people to play with.

Think giant Tonka® toys come to life. “DIG THIS” is, at the moment, pending Mumm’s franchising plans, the only heavy-equipment playground in America. For $280.00 to $650.00, you can get an hour or two on board any of the equipment you like, maybe the Caterpillar 315CL Hydraulic Excavator or the 115-horsepower bulldozer.

Customers range from corporate executives to doctors to an 84-year-old woman. One man got a day at Dig This as his 60th birthday present.

There are instructors to assist, but you get to push the one ton boulders around the obstacle course, up an 8 foot ramp and shove ‘em off the top….dig a trench….build a mountain of dirt. Corporate clients are using this for ‘team building exercises’. He’s even thinking about creating a save-your-marriage experience with tandems of therapists and equipment operators guiding couples through excavation exercises requiring good communication.

The Caterpillar dealer who sold Mumm the equipment says “It’s fun for somebody who lives in a pin-striped suit to get out there, make noise and kick up dust – and re-telling the adventure around the water cooler.”

The higher up the affluent ladder you go to get customers – and going higher is, itself, a Trigger – the less they need, want or are interested in products or services, the more bored they are with the ordinary; they buy Experiences.

This guy is completely in the Experience business…he knows who he is…who his customers are…he “gets it.

He follows a well-traveled path already blazed by companies creating faux circuses for people to be performers in, letting pilots fly WW II bombers, amateurs work as chefs in a top restaurant for a night, or be spies (an example in my Affluent book).

If Mumm’ll double his prices, embrace the “no boundaries” reality described in my book, and market our way, he’ll do fine. (If he averages as little as $2,000.00 a day, that ought to net close to $500,000.00 a year. VERY franchiseable too.)

BUT THE TRIGGER-TACTIC FOR EVERYBODY does not require abandoning your existent business to create an entirely new experience business; create Experiences in your present business and/or marketing your small business for your customers/clients.

CONVERTING FROM SELLING PRODUCTS & SERVICES TO CREATING EXPERIENCES can definitely create more profit, publicity and prominence in 12 months than in the previous 12 years!

DO YOU “GET IT”?  Leave me a comment today about how you “get it” in your business.


Dan Kennedy is internationally recognized as the 'Millionaire Maker,' helping people in just about every category of business turn their ideas into fortunes. Dan's "No B.S." approach is refreshing amidst a world of small business marketing hype and enriches those who act on his advice. For more money-making marketing tips, tactics and strategies, go to

10 Responses

  1. I get it! Thanks Dan

  2. Brian Horn says:

    Thanks again Dan! I get it too! (Thanks to you and Bill).

  3. Stuart Woltz says:

    Dan absolutely hates it when business owners say “yes, but my business is different so that won’t work for me” and he’s right. It’s dumb to think that way. But there are some businesses for whom it may be harder to create that unique experience than others.

    One business that I’m involved in, life insurance sales, has an added complicating factor in the form of the Compliance Department (sometimes I call them the Sales Prevention Dept.) They have to approve your marketing efforts and they don’t seem to like people who think outside the box.

    One way I’m trying to differentiate my practice from others is by holding seminars. It’s not at all unique to offer seminars in the insurance business. People do it all the time. But the seminar format does provide an opportunity to provide that unique experience to clients and prospects in a business that many would consider more transactional and less experiential than most. It’s all in the presentation. So I’m trying to develop ways of making those seminars a little out-of-the-ordinary. We can give the seminar a more provocative title. One of ours is “Business Killers” about avoiding mistakes that can destroy your business. We try to make the setting itself more unique and memorable with decor, the food we serve, etc. We can also be a little different by drilling to target more specific niches, like a seminar just for construction business owners or woman-owned businesses for example. The next step will be in developing more interactive formats for presentations, promoting more audience participation. We want to break away from the talking head in front of the room concept.

    Are these ideas in keeping with the spirit of Dan’s post? Am I “getting it” or missing something? Are these notes of any help to anyone else? Does anybody have comments that might help me? Ideas for jazzing up those seminars? Anything?

    Thanks, Bill and Dan, for providing this forum. I found this through your Facebook post. Keep up the great work.

  4. Stuart,

    How about a seminar for golfers on extending the “Life” of your golf game. Financial advisors do client golf events all the time in my town. Why not do client golf events for life insurance.

  5. I was sitting in my chiro’s office today watching the “less informed” read the latest gossip magazines when I noticed the Grand Rapids Magazine just featured the “207 best doctors” in West Michigan. I immediately had the Doc’s secratary make me copies of all ten pages because they listed the all the physicians addresses. She gave me a funny look but complied. So now I can do a mailing to these 207 “high earners” and congratulate them on their achivement and recognition in a major area magazine. Plus I’ll be adding an offer and testimonials from other doctors I have coached. Then I’ll be going to to find an item that would be congruent with my mailing them congratulations. Four years ago (B.P.D. – Before Planet Dan) I would have been reading Sports Illustrated with the other yahoos in the office.

  6. I think a lot of people – myself included – are at times too proud to “get it.”

    We have so much pride about the products we create and how wonderful they are that we fail to see what our customers are actually most interested in experiencing/receiving from us.

    Why is this? Why does it seem to be so hard to change course based on what our CUSTOMERS want instead of what WE originally had in mind?

    Sometimes too much pride can be a bad thing.

    Coach Donnelly

  7. Charles says:

    The higher up the affluent ladder you go to get customers – and going higher is, itself, a Trigger – the less they need, want or are interested in products or services, the more bored they are with the ordinary; they buy Experiences.

    thank you Dan,

  8. Dan-

    I get it!!

    Scott Seifferlein-

    Good thinking! I know of a company that scans literally *all* magazines each and every day of the week and send letters to all award winners across all magazines marketing their products…

  9. Danilo Dusoswa says:

    I teach a personal development programme to children in country areas around southwest Ireland. These are very sparsely populated towns and villages that have large catchment areas that consist of small rural communities.

    In the new year, I plan to hold seminars in these towns and villages and sell the programme from the front of the room. The seminars will be free, I will collect names, addresses of all the attendees for follow up marketing as well as making an ‘act now’ offer for those that sign up there and then. I will use deadlines as well as bonuses that get taken away the longer people wait to sign up.

    Most other people would just settle for distributing a ‘me too’ type flyer ad through letter boxes and then wonder why they aren’t getting any new signups. Thank you GKIC for opening my mind. I look forward to coming to next years info-summit and networking with GKIC members. I learn so much from reading GKIC newsletters and Dan’s books, I can only imagine that this is magnified when at an actual ‘in person’ event.

    Thank you GKIC!

  10. This is a really awesome blog. I think more people should really drop by here often to get their fix for their daily reading.

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