Every business, whether they know it or not, is in the entertainment business. And, when it comes to entertainment, you need to know what your fans want, and then you need to give it to them in spades. Jesse Cole, with the help of his wife Emily and dedicated Banana Team, have taken this Fan's First Experience to a whole new level.
Jesse Cole is the author of Find Your Yellow Tux and co-owner of The Savannah Bananas, a baseball team in Savannah, Georgia. The team entered the Coastal Plains League in 2016, and after a relatively tight first year they went on the have three consecutive successful sell-out seasons from 2017-2019, and it doesn't look like slowing down any time soon.
On this episode we discuss:
- Why the Savannah Banana's have 4000+ fans per game while other teams in the league struggle to get 200 - 500 fans.
- How to turn boring into something exciting.
- Asking yourself what business are you really in.
"When you’re in the entertainment business it’s very easy to make decisions on what to do. When you’re in the baseball business, you’re focused on trying to get better players".
- This is why it's essential to focus on the fans experience, not the money.
- The importance of learning from other industries
- Jesse explains what he learnt from the cruise industry and also the Magic Castle Hotel.
"Whatever you’re business is, how do you bring people together where that community is formed where people can talk about and be able to experience things together".
- Finding pain-points and removing them. Create the experience you want and put yourself in the customers' shoes.
"If you’re shipping something like everyone else, in the same packaging, you become like everyone else. The customer cannot tell you apart".
Let Them Take Advantage of You
How can you add that much value that you make the customer feel like they’re taking advantage of you?
When the customer feels like they're are getting a great deal, they want to purchase more. They feel almost guilty for not buying that beer or t-shirt.
Creating An Unfair Advantage
Stop asking how we can make more money from our customers, instead ask, how can we develop more fans?
If you make the experience so good, you create an unfair advantage over your competitors because your fans will tell everyone else about you and will want to come back.
Lessons From Southwest Airlines
They live by the motto, 'We Give More People Freedom To Fly', so when airlines started introducing payment for bags, they refused to be like every other airline, even though it was shown they would earn $350 million by doing it.
Instead, they stuck to their beliefs and values and what was important for their customers and had an increase in revenue of $1.1 Billion
Why Their No Advertising At Their Stadium
Jesse eliminated all advertising because fans don’t come to the baseball to see advertising? He kept asking, 'what do we stand for' and then made sure every decision was based on that, just like Southwest Airlines.
His sole responsibility then was to make the fans happy, not make the sponsors happy. This is a complete change in mindset.
His team are very aware that every game is someone’s first game so you’ve got to put on a show and make them feel special.
Jesse and his team place a lot of emphasis on making contact with the fans, which he calls human collisions.
You Wouldn't Believe Moments
You want your customers to have ‘you wouldn’t believe moments' when they visit your business. When they get back to work or talk to friends, they say, 'you wouldn't believe what happened yesterday at...'
Don’t just look at points of sale; look at points of experience.
Have the Courage to Experiment
not every idea will be a good idea, but you've got to have the courage to experiment. Ask, how can we improve on every touchpoint, when they arrive and when they leave.
Don’t count the coins, counts the fans, this is how you'll know if you're getting this right.
Fans First Experience
It's all about creating a Fans First Experience. You need to map out your big delivery moments.
This has been so successful that Jesse has created Fan First Experience Workshops that run during the summer baseball season. You should also check out his podcast Bananas For Business.
Find Your Yellow Tux
In his book, Find Your Yellow Tux, Jesse explains people are in a mad rush to the middle, going about their business and fitting in. The problem is, while they may feel as if they’re doing their own thing, they’re not—they’re doing what’s expected of you.
To stand out, take whatever you think is normal, and do the exact opposite, do the remarkable.
Everyone has something that makes them stand out that’s the best version of themselves; you need to amplify that.
In the back of their playbook (employee manual), which is given to every team member (staff) it says:
"Be patient in what you want for yourself but be impatient in how much you give to others".
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