How can you continuously broaden the relevance of your business? By actively searching for and identifying completely new market spaces where your current expertise can be creatively applied. This process of ongoing discovery is aided by the Accordion Chart, a visual mapping process that I describe in my book Slingshot.
A fun example of how to expand the definition of your business is the Italian design firm Pininfarina. Pininfarina is most famous for designing some of the most iconic Ferrari cars. Yet one of its most recent innovations, cross-applying its automobile design expertise, is a completely new type of pen: One that works without ink and therefore never runs dry.
How can your business be a continuous source of infatuation for consumers? How can you hold on to their attention and affection?
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.
This is interesting follow-up to a story I told in my Slingshot book. My topic was in-flight entertainment, and how individual seat-back TVs provided a whole new and infatuating flying experience.
But I also pointed out that inexplicable design flaws as well as quickly advancing consumer electronics technology may soon make the TVs obsolete – and therefore a risky investment for airlines. It turns out, my prediction was right. Airlines are beginning to dump the entertainment systems – and the move may benefit both passengers and the airlines. Why would that be? Because the systems rapidly transitioned from providing Infatuation to passengers to becoming Pain Points for all parties involved.
Any highly successful and well-received offering that you put on the market transitions from an Infatuation Interval to the Entitlement Period, barring those that create a permanent infatuation.
During the Infatuation Interval, consumers are fixated on the offering’s novelty, seduced by its perceived benefits, and blinded to its potential shortcomings. As the veil of infatuation wears off, consumers gradually take ownership of the offering, that is to say, they will no longer consider themselves privileged but rather fully entitled to it. The perception of ownership passes from provider to consumer.
Consumers feel that they now possess full rights of ownership for the offering.