Marketing Idea No. 121 – How to reinvent a dying industry

When one partciular industry dies out due to the threat of another industry, the only way out is redefining the boundary of that business and creating a whole new identity for it. By that, this dying industry can reach out to a whole new set of people.

Does industries die? Well why dont we ask that to the circus industry? How about books? is book readership on the way up or down for consecutive years? What about theaters? Are people more willing than ever to go to Bauly roads than ever or is it exactky the opposite?

Thats reality for you. Industries die. The best they can do is accept it, suck it up and like mentioned before, redefine the whole business to create new value.

Here’s a fantastic example.

Cirque du Soleil is one of the biggest name in circus. Created in 1984, this new sensation of circus is steadily increasing its fan base in an era when for entertainment women go to movies, guys go to pubs, and kids cry out for PlayStation. Not to mention that globally, the circus industry is on the decline, haunted by the everincreasing choices of entertainment that lie before us. On a given day, people meet at Starbucks or see a blockbuster film. They dont go to circus.

But Cirque Du Soleil realised that. And thats why they redefined their business, and in that way changed the whole setup of how circus is perceived.

Every Cirque Du Soleil shows has a theme and they broke the boundaries of theater and circus. Their shows were part theater, part circus – but full time entertainment. By differentiating themselves in the following way they appealed to a whole new sets of customers for circus – the adults. Initially circus’s main audience were children. But through this new set of value creation, Cirque Du Soleil broke free of that declining industry, created an uncontested industry of their own and grew its fan base and revenue for 25 steady years.

The same happened to magic. From the medieval Merlin days to the Houdini escape, magic was just magic. But the David Copperfield changed all that. He merged magic with showmanship, illusion with opera / theater / musical…and thus created a whole new extravaganza. Today magicians dont just have to perform their magics, they really have to perform – act, dance, sing, you name it.

In the same vein, wrestling was just wrestling before WWE reinvented wrestling as “Sports Entertainment”. And throw in a few fantastic entertainment performers like The Rock and Steve Austin, and you got yourself a whole new sector of show biz.

In the same way, our dying industries like theater, palagaan, puthy paath, circus…all of them has to reinvent themselves. They will have to blur the boundaries that separates themselves from other popular source of entertainment. If it means we have make PlayStation games with palagaan as the background music than let it be that.

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