Friday, October 23, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
2. We are committed to providing leadership that allows competitors to test new technologies and refined applications to answer the challenges of the 21st Century and beyond.
3. Every interaction a fan or partner has with our organization must be exciting, enjoyable and memorable.
Product Development Preparation
We shall use the Working Mission Statement above to organize development of our Marketing Plan. The 4 Ps model - Product, Place, Price, Promotion (in that order) - will lend structure to our Plan.
After we establish plans for each of the four Ps, we will return to the Mission Statement. Please note that the first P, Product, will likely require a good deal of time and consideration. The IndyCar product is much more than cars and engines.
Before we commence the process of Product Development, I ask that you go back and read the following Maxims. Each considers an argument regarding product development. I admit that my various positions tend to fluctuate and are often contradictory with one another.
I will introduce our first Product Development issue in the next entry.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Let us examine our proposed Mission Statement, courtesy of Citizen John.
IndyCar exists to provide a superior auto racing product for the avid and casual fan alike that is compelling, entertaining and fun to watch. IndyCar is committed to making every interaction a fan has with IndyCar an exciting, enjoyable and memorable experience.
Innovation & Leadership: Comments and Suggestions
"The role of leadership in testing automotive technology is essential. It is part of the value of the brand dating back to Carl Fisher. Without it, your Mission Statement would have no teeth. It is not unique in the marketplace. If it is not more than entertaining - which it needs to be - it is a drop in the sea with nothing special to merit attention."
Mr. Cooper suggests that we add to the Mission Statement, "...provides leadership in testing 21st Century automotive solutions."
"I'm having a hard time translating innovation into increased fan interest. Sure, there would be some interest, but as to substantial interest 'because of' innovation, I don't know. Fan interest in sports seems to center around skill and strategy of the participants... how many people will watch IndyCar 'because' it is the leader in testing automotive solutions for 21st Century needs?"
"This is great in theory, but it seems to me that the tech challenges for transportation in the 21st Century are about energy efficiency. It certainly isn't speed and power, except within the constraints of energy efficiency. I'm not convinced that you can create a compelling racing product around what amounts to a fuel economy run."
BC has suggested that we "uphold the heritage" of the Indy 500, which he believes would provide an implicit tip of the cap to "a strong tradition of innovation."
"Since every era brings new ideas, 'innovation' means not only new ideas, but also adapting to and improving the ideas that are already available."
"Innovation will always initially be limited to the race track early on and then move from there with public demand and interest, assuming that you have a testing ground for that sort of thing. Nothing wrong with that."
GreyMouser noted that he likes the idea of adding innovation to the Mission Statement because it would provide IndyCar a clear point of product differentiation with regards to NASCAR. He also believes that innovation would provide IndyCar a market space to which no other sanctioning body has laid claim.
I tend to believe that Innovation must be central to our Mission. Like new contributor IndyIan, I also believe that innovation must evolve from the lowest points on the supply chain. This might enable IndyCar teams to augment their own brands in the marketplace. Ultimately, that would be a good thing for IndyCar racing.
Mr. Cooper's word, "leadership," is, I think, an underrated and essential element of his suggestion. IndyCar lacks identity at present in part because it does not lead the auto racing market in any area.
Furthermore, I do believe that energy efficiency and fuel consumption can be made to be both interesting and entertaining. This issue is one that I fully intend to discuss thoroughly when we consider our "whole product" offering.
Request for Proposals
So, allow me to issue an RFP to all readers of and contributors to The Indy Idea. Please submit the language that you would use in the Mission Statement to denote Leadership in Relevant Automotive Innovation.
We shall then discuss and determine the optimal solution for the time being. Rest assured that we will revisit the Mission Statement after we complete the Product phase of our Marketing Plan.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Conventional wisdom holds that somebody once said that it is easier to tear down than to build up.
That guy was right.
After much discussion, disagreement and digression, we still have not established a Mission Statement that might bring about a New Day Rising in IndyCar racing.
Our most comprehensive effort to date came from the keypad of Citizen John. Let us review his submission.
"IndyCar exists to provide a superior auto racing product for the avid and casual fan alike that is compelling, entertaining and fun to watch. IndyCar is committed to making every interaction a fan has with IndyCar an exciting, enjoyable and memorable experience."
Recall that the Mission Statement should explain why the firm should exist. More specifically, it should broadly state what the organization must do consistently if it is to achieve its Vision. Our Vision Statement is below.
"IndyCar shall be the clear number-one choice among auto racing consumers in the United States. At its core is the Indianapolis 500, an iconic American institution that shall transcend the sport of racing and be a worldwide automotive celebration."
Can we assume that if we were to achieve the Mission that John has proposed, we could then expect IndyCar to become "the number-one choice among auto racing consumers in the United States?"
I am skeptical. I believe that IndyCar must do more. For example, I like the addition that was proposed by Mr. Cooper.
"...leadership in testing automotive solutions for 21st Century needs."
This might lend relevance and technological intrigue to IndyCar racing that would differentiate it from NASCAR. Here, we could rearrange the playing field, adding real significance to the product so that we might avoid competing head-to-head with NASCAR in the racingtainment market. Innovation also speaks to our Vision of the Indy 500 transcending the sport to become a worldwide automotive celebration.
BC wrote that IndyCar should 1) serve fans and 2) "honor and build upon the heritage" of the Indy 500 and championship racing. I think that Mr. Cooper's suggestion would help us to accomplish both of those tasks.
I think that we are close to resolution. However, certain asides continue to foil our efforts. Therefore, as we attempt to finalize our Mission Statement, let us not raise any one of the following subjects.
- The name of either the series or the sanctioning body
- Specific attributes of the cars, drivers and tracks
We will discuss each of those issues and many more in due time.
For now, let us consider Citizen John's proposed Mission Statement. Does it contain redundancies that should be eliminated? Have we omitted anything that is essential to IndyCar's existence?
Let's get moving and wrap this up.