I flew United first, which was a no-brainer choice. No stops and I could add to the few hundred thousand miles I’d already racked up with them. I know them. And so, when the price is close enough, United usually gets the nod.
The second time, I tried Virgin America. Their base ticket price was the same, but I really wanted the guarantee that I’d get an extra inch or so of legroom without having to pay another $300 for premium economy. I got a lot more than I bargained for.
From the personal screen in front of my face, to being able to order movies, snacks and drinks from my seat (you can run a tab—how cool is that?), to the most prized resource of all: a just-for-me electrical outlet to charge my gizmos.
The ability to recharge all of my road warrior devices (most especially after frantically running for a flight with all my charge signals precariously low) is priceless. Had I known it existed, I’d have happily paid more for that ticket, even if the legroom (always high on my list) had been identical. I doubt I’m alone.
Because I’m always fascinated by the brand experience, I did pay attention to details: the clever safety video, the happy flight attendants and the absence of that claustrophobia-inducing cart in the aisle (courtesy of the seat-back ordering system).
It’s the classic juxtaposition of the old guard and the new upstart. Virgin simply (yet profoundly) executed a fresh take on an old business model.
What about the rest of us? We have far simpler, less capital-intensive businesses than airlines. We have precious few excuses for not innovating constantly.
So, if you were starting your business today, how would you do it?
How would you find clients? What technology would you use to enhance their experience? What talent would you attract and how would you engage and keep them?
Try looking at your business model like a virgin. What’s ripe for change?
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