“Man only truly respects what he pays for” – Scale Lessons in Product Extension
Next week sees the “Oscars of the restaurant industry”, where the new starred restaurants to feature in the MICHELIN Guide 2020 will be revealed.
Michelin is probably best known as the company that bestows stars on restaurants to show their excellence.
It makes us think of fine dining, lavish restaurants, intricate dishes, top notch chefs. Basically, high quality.
Which is a far cry from MICHELIN Tyres.
For me this conjures up: functional, fumes and noise from the autocentre ‘waiting room’, a market competing on low-cost. (And of course, the Michelin Man, who I confuse with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters).
How are these two extremely varied products/services, from the same company? It’s a brilliant lesson in product extension:
- Michelin started out as a tyre company in France, 1889.
- There were fewer than 3,000 cars at the time, so to boost car sales and in turn, tyre purchases, they produced a small handy guide for motorists containing maps, how to change a tyre, petrol stations, list of places to eat and stay.
- It was free for 20 years until Andre Mitchel saw his beloved guides being used to prop up a workbench. His principle that “man only truly respects what he pays for” led to the re-launch in 1920 with a price of 7 francs.
- Paid-for advertisements went, and in came “mystery shopping” with stars awarded for: “a very good restaurant” (one star), “excellent cooking that is worth a detour” (two stars), and “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey” (three stars).
Whilst the guide was initially given out for free, to encourage motorists to take to the road, and buy more tyres…little did they know it would become central not only to their business, but that of many of the best restaurants in the world!
This week have a think about what else you can deliver or offer with the main aim of boosting sales of your flagship product.
It can be anything from something you produce in-house yourselves, or even via a partnership. The key is to keep it simple and relevant to your audiences.
The Scalability Coach | Britain’s Top 10 Adviser 2018 | Author of #1 bestseller I don’t work Fridays | Ex-CEO of a PLC