Toy-maker Fisher-Price is, in my opinion, the classic example of a company that develops new products the right way. Its customers, young kids, are said to be the most finicky of all consumers.
Fisher-Price sends its people into homes and playrooms. They want to see what play areas look like. What’s in them. How existing toys are being used. They look particularly for things that moms have adapted for children’s play. Necessity is the mother of invention, they agree, and moms are very inventive.
True marketing is a process of maximizing a company’s assets. It begins with identifying the company’s assets, and that’s not always as obvious as you might think.
The genius chief marketing officer at Delta Airlines was the first to identify Delta’s customers as an asset two years ago. The result included new sales opportunities that have accounted for over $1.5 billion in new revenue.
You can go through a similar marketing process in your own behalf, and you begin the very same way.
Shopping in Memphis is hard. Recently in a large supermarket, a shopper of close acquaintance discovered that the shelves were bare of skim milk. She found an employee and asked if they had any more. He went the storage area, then returned after several minutes to say that they were still looking.
I'm not sure which is worse: that they had no skim milk in the store, or that they had it, but did not know where it was.
Also recently, I dropped-in at a car dealership to look at new SUVs. There were two shiny ones in the showroom.
I was having lunch near my office downtown. The restaurant was almost full, and I was by myself, so I took a seat at the bar.
Even though it's a place I don't go often, I knew most of the other people at the bar, common among us downtowners. And they all knew the bartender, Mark.
Mark was an octopus, serving food and drink customers at the bar, which equaled several tables full of people. Service was good, but secondary, because every one of us was enjoying ourselves. It helped that it was Friday.
In a recent conversation with a group of instructors at a vocational college, one of them said, “Finding these young fellows a job after they graduate isn’t the problem. The problem is that many don’t understand what they have to do to keep their jobs.”
They just can’t get it in their heads that they have to come to work every day. That they can’t just decide to skip a day or two. They can’t realize the importance of being on the job at eight, not eight-forty-five. That they have to have on a clean shirt. They have to have their tools.