Tag Archives: Customer Experience

Mariners President: How can we attract and retain young people?

One of the unique features of the CEOtoCEO Breakfast is that it is a very interactive conversation between the CEO speaker and the CEO’sKevin Mather - Sliding image participating at the breakfast.  At the July CEOtoCEO Breakfast Kevin Mather, President of the Seattle Mariners, provided an excellent overview of the business of baseball.  Kevin asked the CEOs for ideas on how baseball could attract and retain more young people to their game?

As attracting and retaining youth is a relevant challenge to many CEOs Kevin’s question sparked a lively brain storming session at the breakfast.  Working with those at their tables participating CEOs generated the following ideas on how the Mariners could attract and retain young people.  Are there any ideas you can use for your business?


  1. Win!
  2. Stop trading away prospects


  1. Batting cages at the fields
    1. Fans can play during games
    2. Offer a high school batting derby
      1. Mobile unit?


  1. Weekend Brunch days
    1. Open the park early and allow fans to purchase mimosas, bloody marys and other brunch related foods/drinks
  2. Menu Options
    1. Offer Vegan food choices on some of the ball park menu 


  1. Encourage participation in little league – engage individuals from youth to present
  2. Ride Share Partnerships
    1. Could also run promotions to and from the games
    2. Increases capacity to get to/from the games without having to worry about finding and paying for parking
  3. Education of Immigrant Population
    1. Help immigrant populations understand the game in order to appreciate it
  4. “Take a Fan to Work Day”
    1. Offer an essay competition for elementary/middle school kids to participate in. They can write about why they love the sport, who their favorite player is, etc. and when a winner is chosen, they can go to the field early and get a tour/meet players/watch batting practice/etc.


  1. Social Media
    1. Engagement with Millennials – Get the center field fans involved so that they pay attention throughout the game
  2. Interactive App
    1. Offer an app that allows children to participate in before/during/after games
    2. Offer an app that could be made up of short videos and games to help new fans understand how the game is played and scored
  3. Scorekeeping Educational Sessions
    1. Make a video to teach fans how to keep score via the big screen before the game starts
      1. Offer fans a free score keeping card/program for the game
  4. “Postable Moments”
    1. Increase or switch-up the types of “postable moments” that fans can interactively participate in during games
    2. Being on the BIG screen is exciting!


  1. Adjusting weekday game times
    1. It is difficult for younger generations to attend games that don’t begin until 7:10PM
  2. Appeal to the intellectual qualities of the game
    1. Create a hybrid game (ie. indoor soccer) that forces more interaction with the game and it’s components
    2. Kids will become more engaged with the increase in access to the hybrid activity
  3. Valet for Families
    1. Being able to valet would make getting to/from the games much easier for parents with young children. Especially those who have children who use car seats.


  1. Marketing Promotions
    1. More promotion of special events/nights (ie. Sriracha Night)
    2. Offer more events geared toward Millennials (ie. Two-for-one Night: buy two tickets for the price of one, Date Night: offer a special menu/drinks)


  1. Millennials as Employees
    1. Look at increasing the millennial work force at Safeco Field
      1. Highlight: Flexible schedules, technology but also that there is an expectation that work will get completed


Best Business Books of 2014?

strategy + business logoIt’s that time of year where we all talk about books that we read this past year and which ones stood out in our minds. These lists will start pouring in over the next couple of months. I will share some of these with you along the way. But to give you an early start, here are the top Business Books for 2014 as put together by Strategy+Business. Let us know if you have read any of these and what you thought…good or bad…it will help the rest of us that haven’t read them get a better idea if it is worth our time our not. Here’s the list…by topical category…

Business Strategy


Executive Self-Improvement

Organizational Culture




So if you were looking for things to fill your time during the holiday season, this should solve that problem. Enjoy…and let me know what you think of these books or if you have some of your own you would like to add to the list. If you have read a book and want to give our readers a brief summary, please e-mail me (Blaine Millet) and I would be happy to put your review up as a blog post.

3 in 4 US Senior Execs Strongly Believe Customer Experience Impacts Loyalty

SymbiosisCustomers are more educated and informed than ever and not only demand more, but paradoxically are less loyal.  This upheaval has come so fast that many organizations are struggling to adapt their business models to keep up with the evolving demands of customers and the escalating potential of technology.

At the July CEOtoCEO Breakfast Kyle Hutchins, West Monroe Partners, shared on how having a symbiotic relationship between consumers and business is the key to keep pace with shifting customer needs to build stronger customer loyalty.

Four Models of Symbiosis that Kyle presented for attending CEOs to consider include:

1. Co-Creation – Symbiosis from Customer and Company (Facebook, Mutuals)

2. Shared Value – Symbiosis between Business and Society (Fair trade, China)

3. Platform – Symbiosis from a standard in the Ecosystem (Windows, HTML5, iTunes)

4. Coalition – Symbiosis from Several Companies working Together (Nectar)

How can you balance the latest in technology – high tech – with personal interaction – high touch to created a meaningful experience for your customers?

Jack Welch got it Right…even for Customers

Jack WelchThere is a famous quote I always loved from Jack Welch, famous CEO from General Electric. He said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.”

Today the rate of change is eclipsing most organizations and they can’t keep up. Competition is coming in from everywhere around the world and there aren’t any solid plans on how to deal with it. Competition is coming from places we never expected…primarily because someone else sees the inefficiencies in this particular industry. Product/Service competition is accelerating faster than we have ever seen in history. Commoditization is moving full speed ahead.

Step back from thinking about your product or service for a moment…despite all these competitive pressures. Step back and think about your Customers. Are your customers changing? Absolutely. Are the experiences they expect changing? Absolutely. Are you changing the experience you give to your customers? Most are not.

The one area you have complete and absolute control over is the experience you deliver to your customer. Complete control. You can choose what the experience should look like, feel like, smell like, and be to your customer…every day. And if your customers love your experience, the majority will forgo the latest and greatest advancements in product/service just to enjoy the experience they have with your company. This is the antithesis to commoditization…it is what customers want.

I turned Jack Welch’s quote in a slightly different direction focused on the customer, “If your customers are expecting a better customer experience than you are delivering, then the end is near.”

You have no control over the rate of change on the outside…it is just going to happen and accelerate. You do have control over what you change on the inside. I have always believed in the phrase, “Change what you have control to change and let others focus on what they can’t change.” Your customers aren’t a bad place to start. They are also probably worth the investment of time and innovation to create a totally awesome experience. The end doesn’t have to be near…it’s in your control.