I previously wrote about how the lifestyle enrichment perspective has diverse applications for heavy manufacturing or business-to-business (B2B) companies using diverse examples ranging from a CRM company to in-flight entertainment. This week I share with you a third example.
B2B companies can consider new B2C applications of their offerings, thus bypassing their current intermediaries altogether, to focus directly on creating lifestyle enrichment for an entirely new set of end consumers. Take the example of Kuka Industries, Europe’s largest manufacturer of automated industrial machines. In 2000, some Kuka engineers looking at the company’s KR500, a robot designed to lift car parts, let their imagination wonder and asked, “What if we could attach a chair to the end of it? It could make a fun ride.” The result of their unleashed imagination was the Robocoaster, a joyride capable of 1.4 million programmable twists, which the company calls the world’s first passenger-carrying robot. Since 2002, it’s been installed at amusement parks around the world and appeared in blockbuster action films such as Die Another Day, The Da Vinci Code, Thunderbirds and Tomb Raider. The foray into this new lifestyle enrichment application has given birth to the Kuka Entertainment business unit, helping to buoy the company’s performance from the vicissitudes of the auto industry. So ponder this: How can you get your offering to be featured in the next James Bond film? Or a bit more broadly, how can your B2B business be a continuous source of both workstyle and lifestyle enrichment?
More on the perspective of life- and work-style enrichment in my book Slingshot: Re-Imagine Your Business, Re-Imagine Your Life.