Listen to a conversation between a student and a business professor.
So, Richard … what’s up?
Well, I know we have a test coming up on chapters . . . [trying to remember] uh . . .
Chapter 3 and 4 from your text book.
Right, 3 and 4, well, I didn't get something you said on class Monday.
Alright? Do you remember what it was about?
Yes, you were talking about a gym... a health club, where people can go to exercise [upspeak]… that kind of thing.
OK, but the health club model is actually from chapter 5... so...
[Relieved] Oh, chapter 5? Oh so it's not... OK but I guess I still want to try to understand...
[interrupting] Of course, I was talking about an issue in strategic marketing. [searching, hesitates] Um, the health-club model, um…
I mean with a health club you might think they would have trouble attracting customers, right?
Well, I know when I pass by a healthy club and I see others people working out, the exercising, I just soon walk on by.
Yeah, there’s that, plus... lots of people have exercise equipment at home, or they can play sports with their friends, right?
But nowadays in spite of all that, and expensive membership fees, health club are hugely popular, so how come?
I guess that is what I didn't understand.
OK, basically they have to offer things that most people can't find anywhere else, you know quality, that means better exercise equipment, high-end stuff. [pause, thoughtful] Um, and... classes... exercise classes, maybe aerobics...
[confused] I’m not sure if I... [understands] oh, OK,I get it.. . Yeah. [pause] And you know, another thing is, I think people probably feel good about themselves when they’re at the gym.
And they can meet new people, socialize...
Right, so health clubs offer high quality facilities, and also they sell an image about people having more fun, relating better to others and improving their own lives if they become members.
Sure that makes sense.
Well, then, can you think of another business or organization that could benefit from doing this?
Think about an important building on campus here, [hinting] something everyone uses, a major source of information?
[doubtful]You mean like, an administrative building?
Well, that is not what I had in my mind.
[interrupting] Oh! You mean the library?
Exactly. Libraries. Imagine public libraries. They’re an information resource for the whole community, right?
Well, they can be, but... now, with the Internet, and big bookstores, you can probably get what you need without going to a library.
That's true. So if you were the director of a public library, what would you do about that?
To get more people to stop in?
[thinking] Well, like you said, better equipment, maybe a super fast internet connection.
And not just a good variety of books but also like nice and comfortable areas where people can read and do research. Things that make them want to come to the library and stay.
Oh, and... maybe have authors come and do some readings? Or, I don’t know.. . special presentations. Something people couldn’t get at home.
Now, you are getting it.
Thanks, professor Wilkins. I think so too …