Dec 5, 2014

Go and See

How a customer-focused perspective revolutionized 2 businesses—and how it can change yours.

Dec 5, 2014

Go and See

How a customer-focused perspective revolutionized 2 businesses—and how it can change yours.

It's the early 2000s. Yuji Yokoya has just been assigned chief engineer of the Toyota Sienna®, an undersized, underpowered, and underperforming North American minivan.

To redesign the vehicle, Yokoya decides to follow the Toyota maxim: "現地現物," which means "go and see."

He travels across all fifty U.S. states, all thirty-one states in Mexico, and all ten of Canada's provinces.

He goes to Santa Fe, where he sees narrow, unnavigable streets. The van's turning radius should be sharper.

He goes to the Alaskan highway, where he sees intimidating gravel roads. The van needs four wheel drive.

The results? Yokoya's Sienna sells 60% better than the previous model, and leaps to second place in its category.

So What Does This Have to Do with Your Store?

Yokoya's success came from going the extra mile—indeed, the extra 53,000 miles—to immerse himself in the user experience, and he put that experience at the center of his vision.

Your Turn

Put yourself in a customer's shoes and walk around your store.

Can you read the booster boxes behind the counter?

Can you sit comfortably for a 4-hour tournament?

Can you find out what time the event starts?

Once you've explored your customer's perspective, calibrate your business to the customer's expectations.

Remove Hurdles, Magnify Motivators

The American Red Cross® (ARC) has overcome dwindling donation volumes by doing exactly that.

ARC collects blood from healthy donors and gives it to patients in need. Their research found that the two highest barriers to donations were fear of needles and ignorance of the real-life benefits, while the number one motivator was the desire to help others.

So they overhauled their approach to recruiting donors, playing down the barriers and playing up the motivators.

They remodeled their donation centers in the style of cafés—to put donors at ease.

They launched the "Why I Give" campaign in which donors share their experiences—to show how other donors have overcome their fears.

They posted "Red Cross Stories" videos—to show how donations have helped real people.


These campaigns worked because they directly addressed the hurdles potential donors face—and made them easier to clear.

Your Turn

What draws a player to your store for the first time?

What stands between a player and a new format?

How can you better accommodate everyone's schedule?

How can you accommodate players of different engagement levels?

Swing into Action

Each player community is unique, with unique hurdles and motivators. What are the tallest hurdles for your community, and how can you lower them? What motivates them, and how can you amplify that motivation?

Go and see.

Related Articles

We use necessary cookies to allow our site to function correctly and collect anonymous session data. Necessary cookies can be opted out through your browser settings. We also use optional cookies to personalize content and ads, provide social media features and analyze web traffic. By clicking “OK, I agree,” you consent to optional cookies. (Learn more about cookies)