An important aspect of your marketing plan is how do you package your product or service, and that’s the subject of today’s newsletter. I want to talk about a recent example I saw that was excellent.
My wife and I were recently on vacation in Australia, or as the Aussies would say, we were on “holiday,” and we spent some time up in Queensland, went out to the Great Barrier Reef and Adelaide and spent some time – another week – in Sydney. Sydney Harbor’s really beautiful – we had a chance to go sailing on the weekend with a couple thousand boats.
Let’s talk for a minute about the Sydney Bay Bridge. Now it is a beautiful bridge, that’s for sure. I want to talk about one entrepreneur who wanted to sell the experience of having people climb the bridge. Now they don’t really climb the bridge; they actually walk up the arches.
Now, the person who came up with this idea is a man named Paul Cave. Not only is his story a lesson in marketing and how to package your product, but it’s also a lesson in how using persistence can get you what you want.
Now, some people have heard me say this before – if you have a truly unique and creative idea, and people don’t hate it, they weren’t listening.
So I’m told that Paul presented this idea for a BridgeClimb business to the city and local governments and various other bureaucracies, and they came back with a list of 60 reasons why he couldn’t do this business.
Now most people, of course, would give up if somebody threw 60 roadblocks in front of your idea. Well, it took him a couple of years, but Paul came back and said, “Is it still the same sixty reasons why I can’t do this business?” And they said, “Yes it is.” He goes, “OK, well I have a solution for all sixty of them.”
He presented his solutions and went through the review process, and at the end of that they decided, “Well, I guess there’s no good reason left why you can’t run this business.” So in October of 1998, the business was officially launched. BridgeClimb.com.
You gotta be kidding me, right? It’s just a bridge. But now think about it – they had to put, like, two million dollars investment into it for safety cables and harnesses and communication equipment and that type of thing.
I’ll let you do the math. It’s $160 per person to do this climb, they put two million into it, and in eight years they’ve had two million people make the climb.
The original idea seemed so unbelievably simple, yet its won over thirty-three awards to date. It even won its first award for the Best New Tourist Attraction before it even opened.
There’s also been all kinds of stars and dignitaries make the climb: Will Smith, Cameron Diaz, Pierce Brosnan, Matt Damon, Nicole Kidman, and a number of princes and princesses and other dignitaries have climbed the bridge, or walked the bridge, as well.
The bridge already existed, and with a modest investment, they’ve turned this into one of Australia’s number one attractions.
I’ve thought about this a lot. What are they really selling?
They’re selling a view.
And if you think about, it’s not like oceanfront property that you sell to one person, this is a view that you sell to customers, new customers, again and again every day.
It’s a cash cow.
I want you to think about your own existing products and services; is there a way to package them differently to have a lot greater effect? Maybe there’s some famous landmark in your city or a popular one that you could partner with to get more exposure.
Maybe start your own BridgeClimb company.