Tuesday, November 22, 2005

All Business is Show Business - Scott McKain

Subtitled "Strategies for Earning Standing Ovations from Your Customers" this book was published in 2002. I actually bought it at a second hand book store and still think it's a great book despite it's lack of chart topping popularity. I think it speaks to me most particularly because I come from the world of theater and I understand his frame of reference. His very first chapter addresses how Sesame Street has changed the expectations of the generation that was raised on it and all who have come after. We are a culture of people looking for an experience - to be engaged, entertained and wowed. In the business world today, all we talk about is the consumer experience and almost everything is secondary to getting that right.

McKain's theories are hardly new, but he presents them extremely well. One standout concept is that employees are the stars of any business and should be treated as such. I agree that if you have unhappy and undervalued employees, they are not delivering Academy Award winning services to your customers. He's also on target about telling your story well and having a memorable high concept that captures the imagination. This to me is very PT Barnum. I frequently tell people that I'm a graduate of the PT Barnum School of Marketing. Now there was a guy who knew his market. I'm probably one of the few people who has the video of Michael Crawford in the London production of the musical "Barnum." My kids groan when they see me bringing it upstairs from the dust covered shelves in the basement. I love that show! And undoubtedly that's why this book has such appeal to me. I agree with Scott McKain that all business is show business!

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