Japan wasn’t even on the itinerary. But then this insane deal for a flight to Tokyo came up and our decision was made. Our family of 5 would be heading to Japan!
We ended up loving this incredible country so much that we extended from four weeks to six, dividing our time between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.
Of all the countries we visited, Japan left one of the most profound impacts! We fell in love with the cultural, the meld of old and new, and we realized very quickly that there was so much that we (this American family) could learn. But while we were learning tons as a family, I was also keenly aware of how much there was to take in as an entrepreneur.
As I looked at how raving fans were created out of seemingly ordinary ideas, I knew this was worth sharing! This is a country FULL of inspiration that had led to long lines just for the chance to patron a shop and post that you’ve been there! Who wouldn’t love a little of that in their own business?
Today, I’m sharing my top 5 takeaways that I believe every entrepreneur should be doing to get their brand not just noticed but sought after!
#1. Make the experience over the top! This is so obvious and yet, it has to be said. If you want clients raving about you, there MUST be an experience attached to your service that leaves them dying to tell someone.
Would you think that what you do in the bathroom would be anyone’s go-to topic? But let me tell you, I’ve never taken so many pictures of toilets as I did in Japan (actually I’ve never taken a picture of any toilet before Japan). Compared to the standard flush us American’s are used to, these really did have you feeling like you were sitting on a thrown!
It’s a toilet, most of us can’t think past a place to sit and a way to see it leave, but someone thought about turning morning constitutionals into an experience! I bet what you do is more interesting than a toilet. So how about it? How can you make your client’s experience something worth talking about?
#2 Whatever you create – outdo yourself! Over and over, as we explored, we found something that we’ve always thought to be good, had been transformed into incredible! The best Indian food we’ve ever had, the toilets, the Bullet Train.
Even the 7-Eleven Corndog was the absolute best corndog I’ve EVER had (by far). Over and over and over we saw something ordinary become extraordinary because of the dedication to each person’s kraft. Several times, we wondered to each other – do you think they take something and say, ‘how can I make this even better?’ In a time where so many want to say “good enough” and be done, it was refreshing to have so many experiences that truly overwhelmed us. I am telling you, that corndog from the 7-eleven!
It seemed like there was an unwritten rule (or maybe it’s written and it just wasn’t translated into English) to take whatever you love and are passionate about and make it the best you can imagine.
#3 Think outside the box. Your idea may not be a new invention, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be wholly original. Take what is already there and figure out how to make it better, different, and or over the top! And nothing stands out faster for me than Totti Candy Factory in Tokyo. After seeing another traveler post her cotton candy wonder on IG (cause, hello – how can you NOT post these), I knew we had to see (and eat) it for ourselves, so we surprised the kids and ended a day of exploring with cotton candy that was almost bigger than they were! And that’s the lesson right there. We literally sought out this place because someone else had shared it on social media – and let’s be real, I was planning to share it too even before I got there. Cotton candy isn’t that unique all on its own but this company found a way to make it exceptional!
#4 Get in your client’s head, how can their fantasy be a reality? I questioned if I really saw it, we were standing on a street corner in front of Tokyo tower when half a dozen go-karts zoomed by. I saw Mario, Yoshi, Princess Peach, and Luigi racing the streets of Tokyo and I was instantly on my phone wanting to know what just happened!
Turns out, you can live out Mario Cart on the streets of Tokyo through Mari Car. And here’s the BIG lesson, every business is solving a problem or creating an opportunity for their customer, but if you want to really make a name, take it further! What’s the ultimate fantasy for your client and how can you make it their reality.
Paysen and I have big plans to go back when he’s 16 – he’s going to be Yoshi, and I’ll be Princess Peach!
#5 Different allows you to differentiate! If you want them talking about you, think and create something extraordinary. And that doesn’t mean BIG. It means different!
While most hotels are boasting square footage and amenities, one went as different as you could – capsules! It’s unique, it’s different, it stands out and it has grabbed a global attention, including our little Paysen’s attention ever since Cars 2. So much so that we went and found one so that he could experience a capsule hotel for himself.
Again different doesn’t necessarily mean bigger, it means unique! What can you add, change, or reinvent to make what you do uniquely different from anyone else?
These strategies are brazenly simple – and yet, so incredibly underutilized!
Creating an incredible experience that’s infused with passion, and holding to the creed that only your very best will do. These principles are as old as time and they are still true and steady strategies for success!
Plus in a day of distrust and shortcuts… Good ol’ fashion innovation mixed with ‘better is better’… Well, it’s craved!