Episode 71: How a Baseball Team with a Unique Culture Transformed the Fan Experience

Join us as we discuss an entertainment spectacle with some baseball in the middle, building a culture of experience, and how to be successful by standing out.

Bananas, Baseball, and Yellow Tuxedos — Oh My!

[Required Remarkable] The Savannah Bananas

This summer, Joey had the opportunity to take his family to visit their friends Jesse and Emily Cole in Savannah, GA. While there, Jesse and Emily took the Colemans to see a Savannah Bananas baseball game – but to call it a baseball game is a gross understatement. In fact, Jesse explained that when designing the fan/customer experience, they “looked at how we could create a circus where a baseball game breaks out!”

As described in a fantastic article by James Halley in Baseball America, “the Savannah Bananas sell out every home game, as they have since early in their inaugural season. The fans come to be entertained, and the Bananas, who are but college players honing their craft for free in the Coastal Plain League, don’t disappoint.”

In order to create raving fans like the Savannah Bananas, you need to find ways to make the required elements of your business into something remarkable. At every turn, the Bananas are looking for ways to inject excitement into the mundane, to create lasting memories for their fans, and to make the required remarkable.

What can you do to take the less exciting aspects of your business and make them more memorable?

What can you do to spice things up a bit and have fun along the way?

Our whole mindset is: Whatever is normal, try to do the exact opposite,” Cole said. “I think our starting point with everything is, ‘What is the big problem?’

– Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas baseball team
Jesse Cole leads a cheer in his yellow tuxedo (credit: Jim Halley – 9.1.19)

[Dissecting the Experience] A Culture of Experience with the Savannah Bananas

The culture at the Savannah Bananas in Grayson Stadium is evident in their enthusiasm and the fans’ support. However, it goes beyond simply the games. Jesse took Joey behind the scenes where Joey saw signs detailing the core values of the team paired with testimonials from a fan referring to each specific core value.

Jesse and the Bananas are so focused on the place where the core values meet the experience they are striving to create, that one of the key ways they measure it is by how often fans refer to the specific language of the core values in their testimonials!

– Joey Coleman, co-host of the Experience This! Show podcast

To create a culture where creating remarkable customer experiences is the norm, follow this three step process:

1) Make Your Core Values Front and Center – find ways to put your core values in front of your employees so they have a clear understanding of how to live the values, not just recite them.

2) Don’t Make Excuses – creating remarkable customer experiences can be challenging, but it’s worth it. Commit to pushing the boundaries and exceeding your customers’ expectations.

3) Figure It Out as You Go Along – sometimes the best way to enhance your customers’ experience is to try things that might fail. And then keep working to refine these interactions until they work.

[Start the Conversation] Avtex: Better CX: What does that even mean?

CX leaders are often tasked with creating “Better Experiences” for their customers.  Better CX should be defined by your customers. It takes deep understanding and planning to get there and the right technology mix to bring it to life. 

Creating better experiences can be done in a number of ways, including:

  1. Designing and implementing an entirely new experience or communication channel based on customer needs, requests, and expectations.
  2. Completely overhauling an existing experience to create a more effective customer journey.
  3. Tweaking existing experiences to eliminate common pain points.
  4. Updating or replacing CX technology solutions to improve their ability to support CX strategy.
  5. Providing additional training and support to employees tasked with fielding customer interactions.

Start the Conversation today by asking: Are we proactively making the experiences we deliver to our customers better?
To continue the conversation, go to: experienceconversations.com

[Book Report] Find Your Yellow Tux

Find Your Yellow Tux by Savannah Banana’s owner, Jesse Cole, is not only an interesting read, filled with fantastic stories, but it outlines how Jesse has applied his “stand out from the crowd” philosophy to both his personal and professional life.

I believe every business is in the entertainment business and the companies that will succeed in the future will provide a better experience for their customers and their employees.

Jesse Cole, owner of the Savannah Bananas baseball team

After reading Find Your Yellow Tux, there a many takeaways for how you can apply the philosophy adopted by the Savannah Bananas to your business:

  • How are you standing out? What are you doing to go the extra mile?
  • Remember that every business is in the entertainment business.
  • The “end of the game” (the last interaction you have with customers) is just as important as the start of the game!

If you want to create raving fans, go buy Find Your Yellow Tux.

Links We Referenced

Host Contact Information

Tweet Dan Gingiss: @DGingiss

Email Joey: JoeyC@JoeyColeman.com

DanGingiss.com

JoeyColeman.com

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Episode Transcript

Download a transcript of the entire Episode 71 here or read it below:

[SHOW INTRO]

Joey Coleman Welcome to experience this where you’ll find inspiring examples of customer experience, great stories of customer service, and tips on how to make your customers love you even more. 

Dan Gingiss Always upbeat and definitely entertaining. Customer retention expert Joey Coleman. 

Joey Coleman And social media expert Dan Gingiss serve as your hosts for a weekly dose of positive customer experience. Hold on to your headphones, it’s time to experience this. 

EPISODE 71 – SAVANNAH BANANAS

Dan Gingiss Get ready as we “take you out to the ball game” on this episode of the Experience This! Show. 

Joey Coleman Join us as we discuss an entertainment spectacle, with some baseball in the middle, building a culture of experience and how to be successful by standing out. 

Dan Gingiss Bananas, Baseball and Yellow Tuxedos… oh my. 

[SEGMENT INTRO][MAKE THE REQUIRED REMARKABLE]

Joey Coleman Just because you have required elements of your business doesn’t mean they need to be BORING… time to get creative, have some fun and make people sit up and take notice. Get your customers talking when you make the required remarkable. 

REQUIRED REMARKABLE – THE SAVANNAH BANANAS

Joey Coleman While on vacation this summer with my family, I had the chance to do something that I know you love doing in the summer as wel, Dan. 

Dan Gingiss Then you finally went to a Chicago Cubs baseball game. 

Joey Coleman Oh my friend. I’ve been to many cubbies games but that’s not what I did this summer. You’re close though, very close. I actually took my family down south to visit my friends Jesse and Emily Cole, and while we were in town we got to be their guests at a baseball game played by the Savannah Bananas. 

Dan Gingiss I love the Savannah Bananas. Now I have not had the pleasure of seeing a game but I have met Jesse on more than one occasion. He’s awesome. He definitely stands out wherever he goes is I know you’ll talk about in a little bit but I am really envious because I have heard that going to a Savannah’s Bananas game is unlike going to any other baseball game. 

Joey Coleman] It really is. And yes indeed folks you heard right. The team is called the Savannah Bananas, and as unique and as wonderful as that name is, it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the incredible experiences that Jesse, Emily, the Banana staff, the baseball players, and the fans have created in Savannah. Let me set the stage or rather let’s let Jim Halley – a writer for Baseball America – explain the situation as he does so beautifully in his article “How the Savannah Bananas Turned Conventional Wisdom on its Head” – which, don’t worry we’ll link to in the show notes at ExperienceThisShow.com. Here’s what Jim has to say. 

Joey Coleman [It’s an hour before the game and the parking areas closest to 93 year old Grayson stadium are filling up. Just before the game, the Savannah Bananas pep band marches onto the field. By the first inning, seats are scarce, as team owner Jesse Cole, sweating through one of his seven canary yellow tuxedos, roams the stands at the stadium, shaking hands and posing for photos. The Bananas sell out every home game, as they have since early in their inaugural season. The fans come to be entertained and the Bananas, who are but college players honing their craft for free in the coastal plain league, don’t disappoint. The Bananas have a first base coach,, Maceo Harrison, who break dances. There’s the Savannah Nana’s, a senior women’s dance team, where everyone is over age 65. The Savannah Man-Nanna’s, male cheerleaders with dad bods, the pep band and bizarre between inning promotions. The head coach, Tyler Gillam, wears cowboy boots at third base. Greyson stadium has become a place to party, something Savannah has always had an appetite for. “Our whole mindset is whatever is normal tried to do the exact opposite,” Cole said. “I think our starting point with everything is, what’s the big problem? For many people, the problem with baseball is it’s too long slow and boring. In Savannah, essentially baseball failed for 90 years. We went to a game there and they had less than 300 people. We looked at how we could create a circus, where a baseball game breaks out.”

Dan Gingiss I love that a circus were a baseball game breaks out. Now full disclosure I am not one of those people who think that baseball is long and I’m bored… 

Joey Coleman Dan has to defend for all the baseball fans! 

Dan Gingiss I do understand what Jesse is saying and please tell us more because again I’m so excited to learn about the Savannah Bananas and I have to get there. 

Joey Coleman I mean you have to go and this is a masterclass in customer experience. So as to guys that pay a lot of attention to customer experience, Dan and I are always on the lookout for unique interesting interactions and trust me the time I spent with the Savannah Bananas was chock full of wonderful moments. But what really stood out to me was how the entire operation works to make the required elements of a baseball game into something remarkable. 

Joey Coleman Dan what are some of the more let’s say mundane required elements of baseball games that you’ve attended? 

Dan Gingiss Well before the game there’s usually some announcement where the P.A. Announcer kind of drones on about the rules and how everyone’s supposed to behave and that sort of thing…

Joey Coleman Exactly. Exactly. 

So I certainly understand and respect that with a large audience many of whom are new to your stadium, you need to cover some basic things in a pregame announcement. But that doesn’t mean the announcement itself needs to be basic. 

Joey Coleman Listen to the Savannah bananas pregame rules announcement. 

Recording In case of an emergency,  please stop and listen to me. Exit to the right, exit to the left, don’t be a jerk and push your friend… (audio from pregame announcement continues)

Dan Gingiss Well you know Joey that I love me some quality singing and that was awesome. 

[I totally agree. And here’s the really interesting part. That was Nicole Cheritt. This past season, she was the promotions intern. The Bananas had their intern sing the stadium rules. Now that’s taking employee engagement to the next level. When you get your interns to be actively involved in the game. As if it wasn’t enough, Nicole also played Olga. 

Dan Gingiss I’m sorry Olga? I’m not entirely sure what that means. 

Joey Coleman Yes. So whenever the Bananas were in the lead during the eighth inning, Nicole would put on a big fat Viking suit and sing We Are The Champions. 

Dan Gingiss Oh my gosh. So that’s brilliant because it’s not over until the fat lady sings. 

Joey Coleman Exactly. That was the whole point. 

Dan Gingiss That’s outstanding. What about the opening pitch?

Joey Coleman OK. This was tremendous. At most games, prior to the official start of the game, someone throws in the opening pitch. Not at the Savannah Bananas. At a Bananas game, instead of throwing a baseball as an opening pitch normally would be, they throw a…. Wait for it… banana.

Dan Gingiss No. Are you serious?

Joey Coleman One hundred percent. Jesse actually surprised me and asked me to throw in the opening banana. 

Dan Gingiss Wow that’s kind of a high pressure situation, where you may not have had any previous experience to lean back on… 

Joey Coleman I didn’t. And let me tell you the pitcher’s mound is a long way away from home plate. Throwing a baseball that distant is hard enough – throwing a banana?! That’s a completely different situation and you’re right. It was surprisingly stressful. We’ve got 4000 people in a sold out stadium watching to see what kind of athletic prowess this guy can muster.. Throwing a banana. So as I’m on my way out to the pitcher’s mound, I asked the catcher if he has any tips and this college kid looks at me and says  ‘Yeah just throw it overhand like a boomerang try to get it as close to me as you can and I’ll do my best to help you out.’ So that’s what I did. And while the banana did land just in front of Home plate, it hit with such force that the banana shot out of the peel into the catcher’s glove! 

Dan Gingiss Now you’re part of my leg… 

Joey Coleman  I am dead serious. I could not make this up. I am 100 percent telling the truth. It was crazy. Now I know people talk about hitting the cover off a baseball with the force of their bat but who knew you could throw the cover off a banana with the force of your pitch. It was impressive. I’ll say. No seriously. All right. But that wasn’t the only amazing thing that happened before the game. My oldest son got to hit the first home run. 

So according to Jesse, this make sure that all the bases are working. And he had a blast running around the bases while the players tried to get him out and when he came across home plate all the players lifted him up on their shoulders. You know, to be honest it, became the highlight of the summer for him and for me. 

Dan Gingiss That sounds awesome but what about your little guy? Did he get to help out his brother? 

Joey Coleman Oh yes he did. In fact what do you think he got to say at the game?

Dan Gingiss I’m guessing it’s the two words that we say before every baseball game. 

Joey Coleman Did he just say play ball? 

Dan Gingiss Yep you heard it correctly might three and a half year old got to stand in front of a sold out audience of 4000 people on a beautiful summer night and officially give his first speech in public. 

Joey Coleman Now while it was only two words they were two words that my wife Berit and I won’t soon forget. 

Dan Gingiss Well and I’m sure the other 4000 people probably won’t either because your kids are adorable and one of them is singing or one of them saying play ball and the other one running around the bases, certainly sounds like a lot of antics for the Coleman family in one baseball game. 

Joey Coleman Let’s just say it is not the first time that the phrase a lot of antics has been associated with the Coleman family but we were thrilled that Jesse and Emily took such great care of us. 

So here’s what I’m left wondering: how many of our listeners are working at companies that strive to create an experience as much as the Savannah Bananas do? At every turn the Bananas are looking for ways to inject excitement into the mundane, to create lasting memories for their fans, to make the required remarkable. What can you do to take the less exciting aspects of your business and make them more memorable? What can you do to spice things up a bit and have some fun along the way? Who knows, you might end up creating some magical moments for your customers and your employees alike. 

[SEGMENT INTRO][DISSECTING THE EXPERIENCE]

Joey Coleman Sometimes a remarkable experience deserves deeper investigation. 

We dive into the nitty gritty of customer interactions and dissect how and why they happen. 

Join us while we’re dissecting the experience. 

DISSECTING – A CULTURE OF EXPERIENCE – SAVANNAH BANANAS

Dan Gingiss Now that our listeners and I, are planning to go to Savannah next summer to take in the Bananas game, I think would be useful to talk about how all of this happens. All too often we see amazing companies and think how did they do that? How did they get their employees to participate, to play fullout to deliver exceptional customer service. Joey, having seen the Bananas magic firsthand, How do you think they create these types of experiences. 

Joey Coleman You know Dan I spent a lot of my time at the ballpark that day trying to figure out just that. I also talked to Jessie at length about their efforts because I too was fascinated by this incredible experience that the Banana staff and players are creating each and every game. And what I discovered is that it all boils down to three things. 

Joey Coleman Number one: make your core values front and center. Number two: don’t make excuses. And number three: figure it out as you go along. First and foremost, let’s talk about how to make your core values front and center. Now many companies have core values. They’re written down in an employee manual. They show up on the Website. They may be even on a plaque in the office lobby. But are they really front and center? When I visited the storied Grayson stadium I got to go behind the scenes or backstage, as Jessie calls it, and see the staff offices that are located under the stands at the stadium. I’ll include a few photos in the show notes at experiencethisshow.com so you can see for yourself. 

Joey Coleman But imagine a long hallway with office doors on either side. And as you walk down the hall you see little colorful signs protruding out into the hall with a single word on them. Words like caring, different , enthusiastic, hungry, and fun. Now while this certainly got my attention, what was more captivating was the series of pictures underneath each sign, showing examples from games of the team and staff living that specific word. To cap it all off, each core value was paired with a fan testimonial, where the fans specifically referred to the core value by name. For example, Jean C said ‘the Bananas brought a different feel to baseball at Greyson stadium.’ Jesse and the Bananas are so focused on the place where the core values meet the experience they are striving to create that one of the key ways they measure it is by how often fans refer to the specific language of the core values in their testimonials. 

Dan Gingiss I love that. I mean, when the customers say it, that means you’re actually doing it. And I’ve worked at a lot of companies and the core values are usually posted up on a wall or included at the beginning of every internal PowerPoint or even I’ve seen it on a screensaver on the computers. But you know what? If you asked most of the employees to recite the core values they wouldn’t be able to do it. 

Joey Coleman If you offered most employees a million dollars and they could become the CEO and retire, they still couldn’t do it. That is you’re absolutely right. It’s like what are we doing to live these. Well the second key element of creating a customer centric culture is to not make excuses. 

Now, to be honest I often hear business leaders blaming their poor customer experience on their staff with comments like, ‘Well we have too many part time staff members to create anything consistent’ or ‘you don’t understand these millennials are more interested in their phones than connecting with their customers’ or, ‘Well it’s not my job to teach my employees good manners. ‘ to be honest, every time I hear things like this, I cringe. Because with these types of excuses by senior management, an organization can’t ever hope to improve their customer experience. The Savannah Bananas have a challenge when it comes to their employees that most businesses don’t have. And these are actual statistics that I got from Jesse and Emily. Ninety three percent of the Savannah Banana employees are part time employees, who only help on game nights during the summer. They don’t have time to do a ton of training and these 150 employees often have a less than committed attitude when they start working there because, let’s be candid, they see it as a part time summer job. But the way that Jesse Emily and the rest of the Bananas full time staff show up sets an entirely different tone. As Jesse walks around Grayson stadium before the game begins, he quizzes every staff member he passes with an energetic, ‘Are you ready to rock and roll?!’ He’s also constantly on the lookout for things that need improvement and he leads by example in front of his team. 

Joey Coleman While Jesse was touring my family around the stadium grounds before the game started, I saw him walk by a napkin on the ground in one of the concourses. Without missing a beat or stopping speaking in our conversation, he stooped, picked it up and deposited it in the next trash can. I wonder how many senior executives walking through an office complex, would stop to pick up a stray piece of paper or trash that they might find laying on the ground in their hallways or outside their office. 

Dan Gingiss Well you know the other thing about Jesse, let’s remind people, is he’s doing all this walking around in a yellow tuxedo. 

Joey Coleman In the summer. 

Dan Gingiss Yeah.  He is living the brand in a way that most executives are not. And he’s really become immersed in it. And I think that shows in the way that he’s trying to immerse his audience in that experience as well. And it also seems like his employees and so we often hear the phrase ‘It starts at the top.’ And you know a lot of people roll their eyes because in many companies it doesn’t start at the top. The top is not exuding the values that they’re trying to get other employees to do. And I think that’s what makes this organization so impressive is that when you see and meet Jesse, you understand why they’re having this success they are because, you know, Jesse’s trying to create many little Jesse’s underneath him that have that same kind of energy. 

And like we said before, when you have happy employees, you have happy customers. And you can see it on their faces when you walk around the stadium and when you interact with people. 

Joey Coleman You know it’s funny you should mention little Jesse’… There’s actually a junior announcer in training, who wears a light green tuxedo because he’s not fully ripe. He also goes around doing announcements and promotions it’s absolutely hysterical. 

Joey Coleman Well I think the one the biggest takeaway and it’s the third step in our process here for creating a committed culture, is a really important one that I wanted to highlight to our audience. Because I think all too often when we think about customer experience we think everything has to be built out and polished. The reality is, that the third key component of a committed culture is to figure it out as you go along. Often when we consider a creative or a novel idea that’s going to enhance our customer’s experience, there really isn’t an obvious playbook or directions on how to implement. It requires a leap of faith and sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right and that’s what happened when the Savannah Bananas decided to offer an all you can eat and drink ticket. 

Dan Gingiss Mm hmm. All you can eat and drink. Ha ha. Wait a minute. You can buy a ticket to the game that lets you eat and drink as much as you want. 

Joey Coleman Oh my gosh. Absolutely. It’s it’s wild. 

Dan Gingiss Well it must be crazy expensive given the revenue that’s made from food and drinks at a typical baseball stadium 

Joey Coleman Yeah. No this is what you would think right Dan? But actually the All You Can Eat ticket cost eighteen dollars, compared to the non all you can eat ticket, which is just twelve dollars. But what’s more interesting than economics is the way they manage to serve all of these people. 

Dan Gingiss Yeah it sounds like a logistical nightmare because you’re standing in line all night for the free food and drink, it isn’t as much value. 

Joey Coleman It certainly was – at least the first night. So when I talked to Jesse about this he explained that their first attempt was an epic failure. The lines were down the concourse and up into the stands. They were serving hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies, water , soda. It was insanity. The second game they did a little bit better but they still had huge problems. It wasn’t until the third game. So mind you, this is the third night of all you can eat tickets. They finally cracked the code on how to effectively and efficiently serve all you can eat and drink ticket holders throughout the stadium. 

Dan Gingiss And did he tell you the secret? 

Joey Coleman Oh yes he did. You need to start with the drinks. 

Dan Gingiss Start with the drinks. What do you mean?

Joey Coleman So the first two nights the arrangement of the food and drink was set up like the typical buffet. You grabbed your main entree – hot dogs or hamburgers, then your chips, then your drink. And people going through the line that first night would take four or five hot dogs, three bags of chips, three or four hamburgers, and then try to grab two drinks. And even though you could come back through the line as many times as you wanted throughout the game, people had this belief that they needed to fulfill the all you can eat on the first pass. 

Dan Gingiss That sounds like an absolute disaster. 

Joey Coleman It absolutely was because not only was it costing the team a lot of money, but the amount of wasted food that first night was ridiculous. People would go to their seats. They’d start eating and they’d leave tons of food uneaten. So not only did it waste food but now we’ve created an issue for the janitorial staff because they have even more trash to pick up in the stands. So the Savannah Bananas experimented. They moved items around and realized that if they had people grab their drink or drinks first, it would take up more space in their hands and because they had more stuff in their hands they would take fewer hotdogs and hamburgers and bags of chips, because the games are played in the summer and it’s hot and people want to hydrate. Now not only did this result in less food waste, but it made the line move faster because people were wrangling arm fulls filled with food. Not to mention that because drinks last longer, when you get up into the stadium, if you had extra drinks, you’ll continue to drink those throughout the night. If you got an extra hotdog or a hamburger and it’s grown cold you’re not going to eat that: you’re just going to throw it out several innings later, when you realize you’re not going to be interested in stomaching it. 

Dan Gingiss Well I definitely appreciate that they were trying to eliminate food waste, and that sounds like a cool experiment. 

Joey Coleman  It definitely is. So the amazing experience that the Savannah Bananas create for their fans has many components. But if you want to start changing your business to be more customer centric or fans first, as the Savannah Bananas would say you need to make your core values front and center, stop making excuses, and be ok with just figuring it out as you go along. 

Joey Coleman Now let’s play ball. 

START THE CONVERSATION – AVTEX

Joey Coleman Sometimes all it takes is a single question to get your company thinking about an improved customer experience. Here’s an idea for how you can start the conversation. 

Dan Gingiss We’re excited to present a brand new segment this season and it’s called start the conversation. It’s part of a great new partnership we have with our friends at Avtex: a company that helps you plan and enable exceptional customer experiences. Each week will bring you a new hot customer experience topic and leave you with one question to bring back to work the next day to discuss with your colleagues. 

Dan Gingiss Then you’ll be empowered to start the conversation. 

Joey Coleman This week start the conversation topic is ‘better customer experience.’ What does that even mean? CX leaders are often tasked with creating better experiences for their customers. While the notion of providing better experiences to customers is sound, defining what those better experiences are can be difficult and subjective to interpretation. Better CX should be defined by your customers. It takes deep understanding and planning to get there and the right technology mix to bring it to life. 

Dan Gingiss Creating better experiences can be done in a number of ways, including: one, designing and implementing an entirely new experience or communication channel based on customer needs, requests, and expectations; two, completely overhauling an existing experience to create a more effective customer journey; three, tweaking existing experiences to eliminate common pain points; four, updating or replacing six technology solutions to improve their ability to support customer experience strategy; and five, providing additional training and support to employees tasked with fielding customer interactions. 

Joey Coleman You know there’s so many great elements to this improving of customer experience, and I think two jump out immediately, especially in relationship to the Savannah Banana story. This idea of completely overhauling an existing experience to create something more effective. You know, lots of time in the baseball stadium is spent going down to get food. And by having an all you can eat ticket, the Bananas allow you to go down and come back up without waiting in line and to move quickly. And tweaking existing experiences to eliminate common pain points. The first few nights of the All You Can Eat ticket , there were huge lines. But by putting the drinks first, the Bananas were able to expedite the experience. 

Dan Gingiss And now for this week’s question about the importance of better CX. Are we proactively making the experiences we deliver to our customers better? We encourage you to start the conversation within your own organization and then continue it with our friends at Avtex by going to experienceconversations.com. That Web site again is experienceconversations.com. 

BOOK REPORT – FIND YOUR YELLOW TUX

Joey Coleman We’re excited to give you an overview of an important book you should know about, as well as share some of our favorite passages as part of our next book report. 

Dan Gingiss I know I haven’t had the chance to attend a Savannah Bananas game Joey but I have had the chance to check out a book that was written by team owner Jesse Cole. 

It’s called Find Your Yellow Tux and it’s pretty fantastic. 

Joey Coleman I agree Dan. You know one of the things I love about books and one of the main reasons we feature books on this show is that they allow us to learn from the mistakes and successes that the author has experienced. Find your Yellow Tux is not only an interesting read filled with fantastic stories, but it outlines how Jesse has applied his stand out from the crowd philosophy to both his personal and professional life. 

Dan Gingiss Let’s listen to Jesse as he gives us an overview of Find Your Yellow Tux. 

Jesse Cole I believe everyone has something that makes them stand out. It’s the best version of themselves and I call it the yellow tux. Yes, I wear a yellow tuxedo every single day and I own seven total. But in this book Find Your Yellow Tux how to be successful by standing out. I share my journey to differentiate myself and our baseball team in the notoriously traditional industry of baseball. I share how, just a few years ago my wife and I were sleeping on an air bed and down to our last dollar. It was then that we embraced what makes us different. We went all in on having fun and creating the fans first experience. And it worked for us. After selling just one season ticket in the first two months we then went on to sell out every single game. Overall, this book shares how you can find similar joy and success in everything you do by thinking and acting differently. Because I believe normal gets normal results and I’m not your normal author and this is definitely not your normal book. This book is anything but normal. I share the ridiculous and outrageous stories of the Savannah Bananas and how we come up with our crazy ideas. But I believe every business is in the entertainment business and the companies that will succeed in the future were by a better experience for their customers and their employees. They create fans. In this book  I share how we’ve been able to put fans first in everything we do and how you can as well. I hope this book will help you look at the world differently and help you yellow tux your life your business and your legacy. 

Dan Gingiss I have to tell you as a guy that grew up with a family business that rented tuxedos,  I love any book that refers to tuxes especially yellow tuxes. And I’ll have to ask my dad if he ever sold or rented a yellow tux. But I love Jesse and what he does and how he stands out and how he’s not afraid to be a little bit different in a room and a guy that everybody notices. And I do think that that is something that we all could do a little bit more of even those of you that consider yourself introverts can sometimes step out of your skin a little bit and and and be a Jesse. 

Joey Coleman Well even the extroverts , Dan, could think a little bit differently about it. You know a lot of folks are playing it safe and I get that you may not be interested in wearing a yellow tux. But the question is, are you standing out? What are you doing to go the extra mile to be different from the competition, to go all in on creating an experience that puts your customers first? I love it when Jessie shares his belief that every business is in the entertainment business. I completely agree and love it when a business that I’m interacting with strives to make our interactions fun and playful. Look, life is stressful, life is hectic. It’s often rote and routine. And when I have an interaction with a business that I find fun or playful, it gets my attention. I stop to savor the moment. I smile, I laugh, I pay attention, and I remember. I remember what business had that effect on me and as a general rule that positive memory gets embedded in my mind and forever associated with that brand or business. So let’s dive deeper into the pages of Find Your Yellow Tux. Dan I know you love this book. What was your favorite passage?

Dan Gingiss I really enjoyed when Jesse shared, and I’m quoting, “It’s very easy to get narrow sighted with your business but when you do this, five 10 or 20 years can pass with you hardly looking up, and taking in the world around you. And when you finally do, you realize that you were just riding the hamster wheel the whole time. You didn’t actually take your business anywhere. There’s a whole world out there. It’s never easy to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but when you do you remember there’s this whole world out there full of great ideas to learn internalize and make something new. “

And I like this because I’m actually right now, going through a period where I’m trying to do some things differently than I used to before, and in particular, I have a lot of my friends and mentors pushing me to do more video. And there’s a reason I got into podcasting. 

Joey Coleman I think you definitely have a face for it. 

Dan Gingiss Thanks buddy I appreciate it. But I love writing and I love podcasting and video is uncomfortable for me, but it’s something that I’m pushing myself to do. 

Joey Coleman I love it. I love it. Yeah. And I think that’s the I think Jesse would be really thrilled to hear that because it’s the trying something different. It’s looking up and saying oh let’s be, you know, a little daring or a little bold. You know my favorite passage in the book is a bit longer but it has a really important message that we’ve talked about in prior episodes have experienced this and I’m quoting from the book:. 

“Last impressions matter too. When our fans leave our ballpark upwards of 20 staff members are there to wave them off. It might sound excessive but fans e-mail us all the time to tell us how much they appreciate it. Here we wanted to give fans the opposite impression of a restaurant at closing time. I bet you know what I mean. You’ve probably walked into an empty restaurant a half hour before closing and when you did, I’d wager there was no one there to greet you, that all you saw was a bare bones staff quietly cleaning and locking up. Now I’m not here to knock restaurant staff. We at fans first, understand the long hours people in the service industry work. We understand how exhausting it can be running around on your feet all day. We’ve been there plenty of times ourselves. That said, we’ve learned that even closing time should be a celebration. Sure we’re tired. Everyone from the players to the fans is tired at the end of one of our shows. But what a wonderful thing, if we can make one last meaningful impression on our fans as they’re walking out of the gates. The fans first staff makes it a point to finish our work and be at the gates before the final out. That way we can wave goodbye to as many fans as possible. Not only can we feel the difference we’re making for our fans. We can also see firsthand how much fun everyone had. The longer we stand there smiling at people the more thank yous, hugs, and waves we receive. What better way to leave work, on a high note? It may sound funny, but shaking hands, giving hugs, and saying goodbye at the end of a good night, is still one of the best parts of my job. “

Dan Gingiss Well now that we share the parts of the book that we enjoyed. What about our friend and author, Jesse Cole. What’s his favorite passage? Let’s listen in now. 

Jesse Cole If it’s normal do the exact opposite. Let’s talk about the word crazy. From now until forever. As author Linda Ron Enberg likes to say ‘crazy is a compliment’. It  means you’re thinking outside the box. It means you and your ideas on a different level from everyone else. It means you aren’t playing things safe. On backwards night. We followed this mindset to the letter. Fans walked into the stadium backward, as we thanked them for coming and ask if they enjoyed the show. The game then began in the bottom of the ninth inning. We had the seventh inning stretch in what should have been the third inning. We then ran all the promotions backwards and we finished or you know, began the game with the Star Spangled Banner, followed by 30 minutes of pregame announcements. 

Jesse Cole When you approach things with a different mindset, even the normal things take on a different meaning. I’ll tell you, that ovation for the national anthem was the loudest I’d ever heard. All because it came on the tail end of a dramatic win. Whenever I hear someone say it’s always been done that way, I say no, rethink yourself! Tradition and routine don’t make something right or even good. Eventually it’s going to be flat out wrong. If you know you can do it better, then do it better. That’s what this chapter is all about. Going against the grain of what’s considered normal because normal gets normal results. Sure it’s comfortable but it’s also super super boring. 

Joey Coleman Crazy is a compliment. How awesome is that? Friends, if you want to create raving fans, if you want to change the way your employees and customers think about your brand, if you think it’s time to get a little crazy,  to go against the grain and create some remarkable experiences, please go purchase a copy of Jesse Cole’s book. Find your Yellow Tux: how to be successful by standing out. I promise you, it’s a home run of a book that will leave you cheering for more. 

Joey Coleman Wow. Thanks for joining us for another episode of experience this. 

Dan Gingiss We know there are tons of podcasts to listen to, magazines and books to read, reality TV to watch. We don’t take for granted that you’ve decided to spend some quality time listening to the two of us. 

Joey Coleman We hope you enjoyed our discussions and if you do we’d love to hear about it. Come on over to experiencethisshow.com and let us know what segments you enjoy, what new segments you’d like to hear. This show is all about experience! And we want you to be part of the experience this show. 

Dan Gingiss Thanks again for your time and we’ll see you next week for more experience this!