The experience economy is becoming more important in our society. For companies this means they need to re-orientate the products they offer. Funcha! went through this process last year and transformed themselves from a high ropes course builder (product-focused) to a developer of awesome offline experiences (experience-focused).
The old name Active Constructions was also let go. For the employees of the company it was a radical change towards an experience-focused approach, but in the end a real eye-opener. The roadmap to transform the company was intense. Marketing manager Nico de Jong thinks that many leisure companies could profit from a vision on experience, and shares his experiences..
The market of ropes courses..
De Jong: ”…is developing. We even see some saturation of traditional high ropes courses and tree top adventures. These days, you have to offer something special in order to differentiate yourself from others. Within the ropes courses, the nets parks are growing. You don’t have to be secured which makes access to these parks much easier. It’s a development that ensures the market to expand. Park staff is another development. Staff used to be trained for the safety and use of the parks; nowadays they are becoming more entertainers, who are part of the experience.”
What was the moment where you thought; we must change!
De Jong: ”Actually we were not really focused on a change at first. We were looking for a good CRM system to be able to focus on clients better. We got into talks with AFAS Software, a Dutch company which supplies such software. A strategist of AFAS confronted us with the question: Where does your company stand for? What do you want to organize? We realized we didn’t have a direct answer which made us wonder. We then started a strategic trajectory with 4 persons of the management and the strategist to gather more clearance about the added value that we want to give to the world.”
A: The vision
Meanwhile we have an answer to the question: What kind of company are you?
‘Funcha! is the worldwide market leader with regards to designing, building and supporting tree top adventures, and other climbing concepts in a natural environment. Together with our partners we realize an awesome offline climbing experience. Employees of Funcha! work together with clients with their heart and soul.’
B: The core values
De Jong: ”Now that we have a vision of the company we are, the core values were formulated. A lot of core values already existed within our company, but they were never put on paper and shared with the team in this way.”
The formulated core values are:
– A deal is a deal (high level of trustworthiness)
– We take action ourselves (be able to foresee problems and capitalize on opportunities)
– Our communication is open and sincere (listen, receive and give feedback are part of this)
– The nature has our respect and is our passion (sustainability is our second nature)
C: The Ambition and Strategic Goals
An important step in the process is the formulation of the ambition. The short sentence below is possibly one of the most important components of the new view:
”We want to provide people the most awesome offline experience; pure nature.”
To achieve this ambition, three strategic goals were formulated where the company needs to fulfill in to achieve these:
– Create win-win situations; you are not a seller of the product, but you build towards a collective goal: a special day out. Funcha! will eventually profit on this as well.
– A professional organization with a well trained team. Building climbing adventures is complex. You can achieve an added value when you support in all facets and take initiative.
– Don’t only build a climbing adventure but also a good network. Together with clients of different parks, you have a lot of knowledge and experience. You can then optimize the relation between attraction value and revenue model.
After this thinking process, the ideas were transformed into action points. This happened through a transition plan. After all, a change of the company culture is not finalized in one go. You can work efficiently by undergoing the change in the right order. A roadmap is, therefore, so important.
An important component is the communication of the values and goals. Creating clarity has been positive for the organization. The whole organization is now much more focused on exploitation and revenue.
Employee profiles were viewed, and we looked at what kind of developments we needed for new staff members to give the organization a new form.
With special thanks to:
Nico de Jong and Kees-Jan Verwaal of Funcha!