“What product category are you in?  It’s bigger than you think.”

Seth Godin

We would all be flying Wells Fargo Airlines if they had thought they were in transportation instead of the stage coach business.  Same could be said of many once great companies like Polaroid and Blockbuster.

All too often I find radio stations that see themselves as being in the Christian radio business.  Even the good stations often default to being about Christian music for Christian music fans.

“Every brand thinks it’s the most important thing in their user’s life.  Seldom is this true.  A user’s experience with a brand is just one event in an action-packed life…  Great brands look to where the brand and the experience fit within their user’s overall life, looking to make not just the experience easier but a user’s overall life easier.”

Fast Company

The World Champion Houston Astros recently handed out more than 1,100 World Series rings to players and coaches, employees, and even stadium ushers.  But they didn’t stop there.

The Astros also handed out rings to several notables in their community, people like Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the big-hearted fellow who opened his 160,000 square foot mattress warehouse and stores as shelters for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Mack was the guy who also surprised 20 Astros fans and 20 first responders with tickets to Game 6 of the World Series and flew the group to Los Angeles on a chartered plane.  If Mattress Mack thought of himself only as being in the mattress business those gestures wouldn’t have made sense.  But he knew it was bigger than that.

“It’s what I believe.  It’s who I am.  It’s what I do.  It’s what my wife and I are trying to teach our children.  Service above self.”

Mattress Mack

If the Houston Astros and their president Reid Ryan had thought of themselves as being only in the business of professional baseball there would be no reason for them to go to the expense of awarding pricey championship rings to dozens in their community.


Mack believes his mattress stores are simply a means to a greater end.  The classy Houston Astros organization believes that, too.

Take a look around.  The pictures and plaques on display in your hallways will reveal what business you think you’re in.