Understanding Your Market

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Greetings. Business success comes in all shapes and sizes. The key is to really matter to the market you choose to serve. This point was made loud and clear to us earlier in the week when we attended the 10th anniversary concert of a rock and roll band called the Haaks that comes from our corner of Sweden. More precisely they come from the town of Hamburgsund–a delightful hamlet along the coast that is the permanent home to about 900 people. It is also the summer home of a few thousand more people who delight in its beautiful location and landscape, perfect stone beaches (except when the water is too cold or the brännmaneter appear), not-so-touristy feel (though that’s changing with time) and history as a fishing village that dates back to the Bronze Age.

But back to the Haaks whose concert in a Viking-inspired amphitheater called “Scen På Bönn” drew a standing room only crowd of more than 2,000 people who all seemed enthralled by their raucous versions of English and Swedish hits and technicolor light and fireworks show (enhanced slightly by more alcohol than one typically finds at a concert at home). Every summer the Haaks perform all along the west coast of Sweden and each one of their concerts is as much a party and happening as it is a musical event–complete with ample opportunities for the audience to sing along. A feature that adds to their charm and popularity. In fact, an old Swedish tradition of sing-along concerts–known here as Allsång–is making a comeback in part due to the popularity of Sweden’s most famous Allsång televised from Stockholm’s Skansen Park each summer as thousands of people join well-known musicians in singing popular songs. And the Haaks anniversary concert also included guest performances and sing alongs by some of Sweden’s top rockers and an opening act called Pepperland that warmed up the audience with two spirited sets of Beatles’ songs which, by their nature, invite singing along. And in this clearly defined market, the Haaks are a very popular and cherished commodity. A fact they understand well in planning their schedule and putting together each performance. And a fact that should be very insightful for you.

All of us in business have important decisions to make about the nature and size of the market we go after and too often we think that it should be bigger than actually makes sense. “Why can’t we be national or even global?” is a common refrain in strategic planning sessions…even when our notoriety and resources suggest that earning a bigger share of a local or regional market would make much more sense and enable us to more clearly build our brand, deliver consistent value and improve our bottom-line performance. So next time you sit down to think about your market with the geniuses you’re surrounded by, take the time to ask this fundamental question: “What is the most appropriate market for our company or organization?

The answer might be an empowering surprise.

We win in business and in life when we find the right market for the things we have to offer. And when we give our customers a chance to join in and sing along. It’s a simple lesson from a summer concert.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alan Gregerman
Alan Gregerman is an award-winning author, consultant and keynote speaker who has been called "one of the most original thinkers in business today" and "the Robin Williams of business consulting." His work focuses on helping companies and organizations to unlock the genius in all of their people in order to deliver the most compelling value to their customers.

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