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August 16, 2010
Has your product jumped the shark?
From our good friend Tom Fishburne:
"In the rush to maintain momentum, there is huge pressure to "jump the shark." Jumping the shark attracts new attention and feels necessary in the game of competitive one-upmansship. But the volume of attention is far less important than the caliber of the attention. And more important than grabbing fresh attention is the maintaining of those already buying.
The risk of jumping the shark isn't getting eaten by the shark. It's leaving your loyalists behind."
More on Tom's take on jumping the shark here.
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Great image... I know exactly the kind of products you are referring to.
These are the same leaders who fall into the trap of thinking that more is always better, or who miss the opportunity to use how an existing customer's needs evolve to find the next vein of demand.
Better to understand clearly what fundamental need you solve for the customers who can drive profitable growth - and do ONLY what contributes to solving that need. After all, it's not what customers will accept but what they'll pay for that's most important!
Thanks for getting my wheels turning. LCI
This article raises a good point. I also like how it points out the flaws in using such outlandish or drastic strategies to draw a newer client base. These actions can and many times do point out the beginning of the end for a product or service and ultimately make customers realize that the company may have lost its way. Additionally, I raise this question; what steps can a company take to prevent having to “jump the shark” when they find themselves considering the stunt?
And yet! Companies have to evolve! So, keep the quality that got you where you are, but I believe we must innovate as we come out of the recession... lots of competitors may be gone, but we still have to be willing to try new things!
Just my thoughts after a decade of working with (and in) small businesses.
Good cartoon. It's just as Jim Skinner once said, If McDonald's would throw away all the resources they own, and only keep their brand, then they would be perfectly fine. Brand loyalty is crucial to any business.