Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Magical Twist on a Classic

Conjuring up the Spectacular
The Harry Potter edition of the classic board game Clue is fantastic because it exceeded my expectations. Even fans of Clue who have never read a Harry Potter book or seen a movie will enjoy this new take on the game because it’s something new. It’s original.

A Major Makeover
Parker Brothers, the game’s manufacturer, could have simply created a Clue game in which:
  • the suspects are characters from the Harry Potter series
  • the weapons are spells
  • the rooms are located in Hogwarts – the school for witchcraft and wizardry
That would have been enough to sell the game to thousands of Harry Potter fans, but Clue fans wouldn’t have been excited about the game.

Parker Brothers chose to go above and beyond a simple facelift of the game, and they actually spent time thinking about how to improve the game by adding twists from the Harry Potter series. The resulting game is more fun to play than the original Clue, and will sell far better than the simple facelift would have sold.

Elements of Surprise
The Harry Potter version of Clue features a moving game board in which doors to rooms open and close randomly throughout the game, and secret passages constantly appear and disappear. At the beginning of the game, players are given a certain number of “house points.” Throughout the game, players lose those points and if a player loses all of his house points, he is out of the game.

These added game elements make this version of Clue unique and worth purchasing. It’s refreshing to see that a major game manufacturer didn’t take the easy way out. They didn’t just re-brand the game.

They made it special.

Add This to Your To-Do List
Are your products and services exceeding expectations? Are your customers wowed when they do business with you? When your next product catalog arrives in your customer’s mailbox, will he toss it aside because it’s like the rest, or will he stop and say, “now that’s unique!”

Seek to find new ways to exceed customer expectations. Maybe it’s a phone call from the president of the company to thank a few customers. Seek to find new ways to differentiate your products and services and the way in which you present them. Take ten minutes to think about the lessons we can take from Harry Potter Clue and how they might be applicable to your situation.

There’s never a lack of ideas.