Intelligent research is the first step to launching (or not launching) any new business venture. Thinking like the individuals you are most hoping to influence is the key to developing a successful business model.

I’ve saved clients millions of dollars over the years by identifying critical threats (competitive, legal, moral, etc.) to their proposed new venture, simply by putting myself in the shoes of their target audience, and behaving as they would when presented with the new option being offered. In some cases, I’ve identified far better business models to pursue and directed my clients accordingly. But in many case, I’ve advised existing or prospective clients not to pursue the new venture at all, for reasons discovered through my intensive due diligence process.

Around Y2K, a top cruise industry executive asked my opinion regarding how I might rebrand their primary cruise line to better articulate their marketing message. The first thing I did was search the web to see how all other brands were attempting to sell me on the idea of a cruise, and how they claimed to be different from every other option available of the eighteen or so to select from. I quickly discovered that virtually every brand was claiming to be just perfect for me, without knowing anything about me or other people like me.

Every brand was speaking to me from their own perspective (selling me on their brand), while my own personal concerns centered around whether I would even enjoy cruising at all, regardless of brand. I decided that I might be compelled to cruise if it were with a ship full of other people like me, who I might most enjoy partying with for a week. I also quickly noticed that no cruise line gave me the option to search for cruises based on the types of people I might like to cruise with enough to tip me off the fence to pull the trigger and actually book a cruise.

While every brand in the industry was touting their destinations, size of ship, amenities, service, price, etc., the one thing I was most interested in – cruising with a bunch of other people that I would actually enjoy spending a week with – was not a searchable option. When every brand in an industry tells you they are just perfect for everyone, the entire industry is actually telling you that they don’t know you or care about your wants and desires.

Similar Posts