Fishing For New Customers
Nearly every product or service has the potential to sell to multiple target audiences, but most companies focus only on their core customers. Isn’t it time to play the field a little?
Back in the 1980s, Plano plastic tackle boxes were a must for fishing enthusiasts. When game show hostess Vanna White was photographed with her tackle box full of cosmetics, Plano began making Caboodles, colorful versions of the boxes. Within five years the new customers were buying more than the fishing crowd ever did. Does this count as “out of the box” thinking?
The Caboodles story is no anomaly; here are more:
- Guns and Doses: The pellets for paintball sports use the same gelcap casings featured in prescription and over-the-counter medications – and the pellets are made by the same manufacturers.
- Puccini, Pygmalion, and popcorn: The New York Metropolitan Opera House and the U.K.’s National Theatre Live film their world-class productions for screening at movie theaters globally. The arts organizations get much-needed funds and the theaters get new patrons.
- Leveraging 101: Most community colleges have the facilities, equipment, and staff for workforce training and retraining, so some companies are partnering with their local campus to offer a specialized curriculum just for their employees.
- A classic case: Pelican Products‘ watertight, bomb-proof cases are perfect for transporting weapons, electronics, and engines. Thanks to new temperature control features, the cases are now also in demand for transporting blood, vaccines and other sensitive substances.
- Boardroom service: Ritz-Carlton Hotels, known around the world for extraordinary customer service, launched The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center in 2000 to teach its philosophy and techniques to organizations in every sector. Notable clients include Apple and the U.S. Navy.
How can you look at your products, services, technologies, skills, and facilities with fresh eyes to find ways to grow your company and create value for new customers? Get help! Sharp Market Intelligence identifies unknown “other” markets and customers who are already buying your offerings but don’t fit your customer profile.
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Phi Beta Iota: The US Intelligence Community has been told, over and over again since 1988, that it needs to expand its sources, methods, and customers to embrace the idea of doing decision-support for EVERYONE. The concept of a Smart Nation was developed in 1995. Today, $1.2 trillion dollars later, the US IC is expensive, stupid, and largely useless. This is a travesty. Intelligence-driven strategy, intelligence-driven policy, intelligence-driven acquisition, and intelligence-driven operations are the ONLY means of climbing out of the cesspool we have built for ourselves. Shame on every intelligence “leader” who persists in “going along” with the techno-waste while demeaning counterintelligence, human intelligence, open source intelligence, open source everything (the technical solution),and multinational information-sharing and sense-making.