Last night I was at the magnificent Hydro in Glasgow…. at the Take That concert. Some if you will have shift deleted at this point but bear with me. Regardless of musical tastes and opinions, 13,000 fans were treated to a Wonderland themed extravaganza, blending an incredible virtual reality visual experience with a now reduced human talent; five reduced to three with the loss of breakdancing Jason and of course Robbie.
I've never been a huge Take That fan but was mesmerised with the whole experience; a setting that was designed to delight, with a huge centre stage guaranteeing that there were no 'cheap seats.' Everyone at the Hydro had equal exclusive viewing of the entire performance in a staging reminiscent of a bygone era, almost like the gladiators at the colosseum.
Flying cars and underwater wonderland magic designed to pull the audience into the performance and transport fans to another world. Incredible dancers topped the performance adding a new dimension yet blending seamlessly with the songs.
Take That are one of the UK’s most successful acts with an enviable career spanning three decades. The band have sold over 7.6 million concert tickets in their lifetime, setting the record for the fastest selling tour of all time in the UK.
They could have retired gracefully leaving the stage to the new kids on the block; instead they decided to reinvent and behave like a new start-up with the latest technology, and critically an understanding that live audiences need more than what they can download for free; it needs to delight to survive.
It's probably the biggest lesson for all brands in business to learn as they struggle to adapt with legacy issues, worried about the new nimble brands taking their stage.
Singing the same tunes can feel tired to digitally enabled audiences who are looking for so much more. Understanding what customers love about you and building on that is the holy grail.
Sorting out a problem created by an organisation in the first place is not a 'delight factor' it is merely hygiene. Being brave enough to move centre stage requires a bold confidence that comes from an understanding of what your relationship actually is with customers, which in turn can only be formed when the mentality switches to 'it's all for you'.
The evening finished with a heartfelt thanks to everyone who had bought a ticket and their records over the years; none of the extravaganza would have been possible without that.
We can't all be pop bands but maybe we do need to think about service becoming centre stage. CCA Annual Convention – another hit event scheduled to take place in Glasgow – on 15 & 16 November this year will be the centre stage for our market-place so get the date in your diary now as tickets will be selling fast! See you there!