When customer feedback does not matter

Sometimes asking a customer, or potential customer what they want is a bad strategy, as they can only respond from the perspective of what they already know and understand.

When you have something different and unknown to offer, there is not much point asking, you just need to get trial.

The elBulli restaurant run by Ferran Adria has been voted the best restaurant in the world for some years now, it costs a fortune, is very hard to get to, and has anything but a conventional menu, yet thousands are turned away each week. Chef Adria ignores customers, and they love him for it.

Several times over the years I have launched products that were genuinely new,  and learnt very early on not to do any quantitative research at all, and no qualitative work unless those involved could see, touch, feel, and use at least a close prototype of the finished product. Only then can they offer an opinion worth listening to, but even then, there is little you can do to prototype the power of the brand which may evolve over time.

To continue the elBulli example. Had Chef Adria put some plates of curry ice-cream in front of a group of a group of people who ate at 5 star locations, and told them how much a trip to his restaurant would cost, and by the way, it was a 2 hour drive through treacherous mountain roads to get there, and they would have to wait 6 months for a booking that had nothing to do with when they may want to eat, it possibly would not get a gold star from the research group. How is it then that it is judged the best, and is probably the most famous restaurant in the world?

Just when you thought you had the rules of marketing nailed, something like this comes along!

 

About strategyaudit

StrategyAudit is a boutique strategy and marketing consultancy concentrating on the challenges of the medium sized manufacturing businesses that make up the backbone of our economy. The particular focus is on their strategic and marketing development. as well as the business and operational efficiency improvements necessary for day to day commercial survival. We not only give advice, we go down "into the weeds" to ensure and enable implementation.
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