When most people think of a circus they think of elephants, jugglers, tight-rope walkers, and trapeze artists (and probably a few other things). Not a lot of people will tell you they think of giant wheels set on fire that someone has to run around, people on roller-blades flipping in the air, people diving into small pools of water from high elevations, or children tossing around diablos. Yet this is exactly what Cirque Du Soleil does; and a whole lot more.
Cirque Du Soleil took the concept of a circus and completely re-invented it and innovated it in a way that has shocked and amazed the world leading to performances on all parts of the globe. I remember the first time I saw their show in Santa Monica; “Alegria”, it was the first show they ever put on and I was lucky enough to see it. There were a few moments in my life where I was held in suspense and awe, and that Cirque Du Soleil show was one of them (and I still feel this way every time I see one of their shows).
So what does this mean for you?
Well first of all, I should be clear that I’m not advocating innovation and re-invention as a strategy; you can read Al Ries’s post on “Innovation is not a strategy,” to understand why. Innovation and re-invention are just parts of an overall vehicle that needs to drive forward. What I am saying is that you need to take a look at your company, your product, and your service and see how you can really differentiate yourself and provide value to your users. Look at what you can do to wow your consumers and put them in awe. Take a concept that is common in your industry and change it, re-invent it, and create something new and innovative. This isn’t going to be an easy task and it’s going to take time; just take a look at some of the videos below to see how challenging it really is.
I’m trying to do this by really focusing on the business challenges and solutions of the social media space. In my opinion it’s the hardest topic facing the marketing and social media space. I’m working with organizations on being able to justify the business value of social media and how they can make these processes and marketing more accountable. I’m trying to really understand all aspects of a client’s business to help develop and integrate new technology strategies that mesh with a companies existing branding and marketing plan; I can tell you this isn’t easy and I certainly don’t have all the answers…yet.
Cirque Du Soleil didn’t invent the circus; they took the concept and re-defined it and made it their own.
If you’ve never seen a Cirque Du Soleil show in the past, I’ve embedded 2 clips below. Have a look and let me know what you think.