“I love my iPhone” says one person. His office mate counters “Me, I love my Communicator…..” You must have heard these before but have you ever heard of anyone saying, “I love my deodorant” or “I adore my shampoo?”
A friend of mine says: “I love my Patek….” while another one says: “I love my Beamer….” But I have never heard of anyone saying, “I love my toilet paper” or “I adore my chewing gum….”
High priced products are classified as “Fidelity” products according to business philosopher Ted Leonsis. Leonsis made a lot of money running America Online during its dynamic period and even bought the Washington Capitals hockey team in 1999. This is no small time businessman talking. Leonsis has a philosophy in business that helps him evaluate business opportunities. He knows that a business is either loved or needed.
Products under fidelity category are loved and they may not necessarily be needed. First class airline seats where you lie down in, luxury cars, rock concerts, the little blue box that contains every woman’s dream, etc….. these are the things that are loved though the owners would always justify that they are needed.
Ordinary day-to-day consumables like shampoo, soaps, toothpastes, and deodorants are not fidelity products but they are convenience products they are needed but not necessarily loved. This is why I smile a little whenever I see shampoo commercials featuring pretty movie personalities saying, “I love my shampoo!”
Now here is my point. I need my shampoo but I don’t love it any more than my deodorant or toilet paper. These products don’t need to be loved but they are highly needed.
High fidelity products or services are rare but valuable. Therefore they often occupy a high-end niche and are relatively expensive. They may have fewer customers and this is part of the package. In face their nature has to do with their exclusivity that lends them social cachet and identity. Convenience products or services on the other hand serve the mass market. They cost little and demand a lower price but they cover a wider base. They are not rare, they have many competitors and their easy availability puts a lid on their price structure.
Both successful high-fidelity products or services and successful high-convenience products or services can be great businesses. They are just different kinds of businesses. But it’s very hard to have products and services to be both loved and needed, to be both high-fidelity and high-convenience. In fact, trying to achieve both can lead to a breakdown.
As I study this concept I just realized that every single person in the work place could position himself or herself to be either in the “Fidelity” category or in the “Convenient Category.”
Most people are satisfied positioning themselves in being “needed.” They provide convenience but there are so many others out there who can provide the same service and value. And then again there are those rare winners who would work hard on themselves until they reach a position of being loved and needed. These are the people who work harder on themselves than they do on their jobs.
They read books. They attend seminars. (Both company and non-company sponsored events.) They look for challenges and they hate the status quo. They live their lives skillfully. They don’t cut corners but they are driven to improve themselves and the way they do things. The process earns them the distinction of being extremely needed and loved. They are no longer “Convenient” they have become “Fidelity” and this is why no economic recession or turbulence could shake them. Work towards this goal. Be satisfied with what you have but never be satisfied with what you can become. God does not invent junk. He has given us the facility to achieve greatness to be loved and to be needed. Work towards that goal.