This is a good question to ask yourself on a regular basis. Two reasons why:

1) You're probably not in the business you (or they) think you're in

2) The answer is likely to change and evolve

Here's an example. What business are Delta Airlines in?

The airline business. Or travel, perhaps. Transportation? Want to get cute with some Jobs to be Done and Start with Why approaches, you might see them as being in the business of 'human connection'.

All these might be true. But it may be something else entirely.

You're probably familiar with loyalty programs - air miles, status points, tiers and so on - linked up with hundreds of partnerships across hotels, restaurants, fashion, live sports and beyond.

So, are Delta in the loyalty business? No. The commerce business? Kinda.

Delta have shifted their SkyMiles loyalty program to focus only on one metric: money. Miles flown will no longer count at all from 2025. The majority of the cash comes from spending on Delta's American Express credit cards. According to Delta CEO Ed Bastian, it now makes up nearly 1% of the entire U.S. gross domestic product. They're aiming to ramp up their Amex-related revenue from $7bn this year to $10bn by 2025.

If they get there, it'll be larger than the amount generated from their global passenger airline operation in 2022.

Turns out Delta Airlines are more likely in the banking business.

Which business are you in?

What business are you in?

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