Right Product, Wrong Customers
Right Customers, Wrong Product
Do you remember the episode of one the prior year’s ‘The Apprentice’, where each team was given an empty shell of a restaurant, a chef, and one day to get open, get customers, serve meals, and win a Zagaat survey competition.
The woman leading the losing team got fired and left, never getting the point made to her several times — her restaurant’s interior and cuisine were both terrific.
Environment beautiful, stunning, if stark. Cuisine clever Asian fusion. And she and her women teammates elegantly attired in long, black evening gowns.
Unfortunately, as Trump’s assistant stated, it was all a terrible mismatch with the demographics of the customers.
An hour spent on the sidewalk observing the people who lived and were walking around the neighborhood would have sounded the alarm bell.
But the team made all their decisions in the vacuum of what they wanted to do, their own creativity. In classic dysfunction, they built their product first, then hoped they’d have a market for it – instead of “building to suit” the market.
There was nothing “wrong” with what they did. It was just in the wrong place.
Even Trump is capable of this sort of error. I saw him on QVC once, selling a collectors’ edition of his book, “How To Think Like A Billionaire.” He sold a couple thousand books in 30 minutes, but in reality, the QVC customers are not the best matched buyers for this book.
There was a way to fix it, and probably sell 10,000 books, but, incredibly, neither the host or Trump did it. The book should have been positioned and sold as the ultimate gift for the businessperson in your life. It should have been sold as “gift”, not as “book”, and less time spent discussing its contents, more time spent discussing the kinds of people who’d be thrilled to get the gift.
What I teach as MESSAGE-TO-MARKET MATCH really is not rocket science. Yet the vast majority of businesses, ad campaigns, products and projects seem to move forward with total disregard for this principle.