Build something that lasts forever

Graphene is a one-atom-thick transparent carbon sheet that is 200 times stronger than steel and conducts heat and electricity. It’s unique lasting properties have resulted in it being used to create bio-composite, battery storage, energy conversion and semiconductor products like the latest generation of iPhone speakers; to help them last much longer and perhaps become collectors’ items. Products that last forever, like diamonds or graphene, or products that have multigenerational appeal enjoy a reputation for quality and often attract a great deal of human affection. It’s hard to get sentimental about a 50-year-old tin of sardines, however, a 50-year-old Rolex Paul Newman Daytona watch that was purchased for $200 in 1968, sold for $18 Million in 2017.

IKEA products don’t last forever, but some of their product warranties do, with 25-year guarantees on all their mattresses. IKEA is one of the most widely trusted and loved brands worldwide. Other products like Tupperware and Red Head socks actually offer unlimited free item replacement for normal wear and tear. Are you getting the idea? Even if you can’t create a product that will last forever, can you create a warranty that does? The lifetime value of a satisfied customer can be incredible. Over time they will refer their family, friends, and clients, who then become customers and do the same. This is how Tupperware, Polar Bottle, Patagonia, Dr Marten’s Lifetime Shoes, Land’s End Women’s Attire, Davek Umbrellas, Osprey Backpacks, and Briggs & Riley Luggage do it.

When your customer hits a bump in the road, are you there? Do you care? There are 500 Apple Stores worldwide and 25 are in Australia. Stores are filled with helpful ‘geniuses’ who care. Australia has 0.3% of the world population but enjoys around 5% of Apple’s geniuses. iPhone has a 55% market share in Australia, but only 12% worldwide. To be there and care for the rest of the world in the same way they do in Australia, Apple would need over 7500 stores.


On a blank page, write four headings: Perpetual Ideas; Perpetual Products; Perpetual Services; and Perpetual Warranties. Under each heading consider the road ahead for all your customers. What are some ways you could create customer legacies with your business? Ways that build trust and even affection from your customers and even their children? What could you build over time that will help your business be there and better care for your customers forever?