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Sometimes, Loyalty is Over-Rated

PodI'm on a flight back to "the compound" after a great day ideating the future of Destination Marketing with members of the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (thanks for the invitation and kind welcome, y'all).

One of the suggestions I offered was to jettison programs and tactics that no longer provided value, no matter how successful they had once been. My example was the intentional cannibalization of Apple's monster-selling product, the iPod. 350 million iPods had been sold worldwide when the plug was finally pulled on the line (with the lone exception of the iPod touch), earlier this year.

Steve Jobs knew what he was about to do with the release of the iPhone in 2007. Combining a phone and music player would ultimately make the iPod superfluous. And, because Apple could sell iPhones at a higher price point, Steve was willing to take the risk of killing off what was, at the time, one of the most popular products the company had ever released.

Conversely, Sears clearly didn't know what it was doing, according to this fascinating piece in Successful Meetings magazine. Instead of changing with the shifting marketplace, they instinctively doubled down on keeping their most loyal customers. Which, as we all witnessed this year, was the wrong move, despite earning a brief reprieve from a bankruptcy court earlier today.

So, what's holding you back?

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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