2014, September, 08

Slingshot Basics: How to keep your customers continuously infatuated

In my previous Slingshot Basics post, I exposed how your customers naturally transition from an Infatuation Interval to the Entitlement Period – unless you can keep them in an ongoing state of infatuation. How then, can you possibly do this?

One strategic target is to extend the Infatuation Interval of your offering as much as possible. For example, think about the extended Infatuation Interval of Nintendo’s Wii, or that of The Da Vinci Code, which was a worldwide sensation for years after its publication. Be mindful to recognize if your offering goes as far as producing a significant number of permanently infatuated consumers who feel entitled to having your offering remain unchanged.

A second strategic target is to have an ongoing process of innovation so that you create a continuous stream of Infatuation Intervals for consumers. In other words, as soon as the Infatuation Interval for your current offering is nearing its end, you tweak its features and utility in a way that a new Infatuation Interval is created. You can do this based on consumer feedback from early adopters who have already transitioned to the Entitlement Period. Or, more powerfully, you can think about and anticipate latent consumer desires, which consumers themselves are unable to express. In this case you enter the realm of market driving rather than market driven, which allows you to occupy undiscovered market space. In the famous words of Henry Ford:  “If I’d asked the consumer what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.”

A third strategic target is to create infectious infatuations so that you are not just re-captivating your existing consumers but increasingly attracting previous non-consumers as well. Consider how the original Wii captured the imagination and ignited the passion of an entirely new, massive consumer segment— that of previous non-gamers.


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