Guest post from Cory Harrison, Camp Director, YMCA Camp Benson
Mike Markkula isn’t a household name. Yet millions of households are impacted by his influence. Perhaps you’ve heard of his business partners… Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Markkula was an original investor in Apple Computers Inc. before it ever became to be known as such. Markklula was responsible for many aspects of what Apple is today. Most importantly, in my opinion, is one document: “The Apple Marketing Philosophy.” This one-page paper, better known as a manifesto of sorts, stressed three points.
First: Empathy. Makklula said, “We will truly understand their [the customer] needs better than any other company.”
Second: Focus. “In order to do a good job of those things that we decide to do, we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities.”
Third: Impute. “People DO judge a book by its cover,” Markkula wrote. “We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc.; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.”
First: Is your camp empathetic? Does it truly understand what the customer, both parent and camper alike, are looking for? If your answer to the question ‘What is a parent looking for?’ doesn’t include safe, professional, opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends, then now would be a good time to rethink camp empathy.
Second: Is your camp focused? At my camp we are as proud of what we say ‘no’ to as we are what we say ‘yes’ to. As a Camp Director I get so many ideas and opportunities that I have to practice the art of elimination. The legend Gary Forster once told me (and many others I would guess) “summer camp is your bread and butter, don’t be distracted by trying to be a bed and breakfast.” It was sound advice for my camp and myself.
Third: Does your camp impute your desired qualities? Slipshod is a method of work that is characterized by lack of care, thought, or organization. Everything from website to social network post, from brochures to the entrance of camp should be done to impute creativity and professionalism. Slipshod is not an option for my camp or yours.
Forward towards Summer 2012 with empathy, focus, and imputing your camps desired qualities.