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I have a tick (well, several perhaps.) This one involves knives.

It is rare that I can leave a building supplies store without buying (another) foldable metal blade knife.  Once I reach the car, I unpack it, place the first blade in ready position, store the rest of the blades in the handle, and (depending on the size) it either goes in my pocket or gets clipped on my belt.  Ready for action until it gets replaced by the next one…

Why?  Why does any (normal) person buy a knife, or a screwdriver, or a widget of any sort.  We buy for what it does for us.  My knife, for example,  gives me easy access to the contents of an over-taped package.  It eliminates the scratching at the edges, the pulling, and the effort.  It gives me time and a feeling of ease.  I enjoy the feel of the metal and the color.  And if I share honestly, I think it gives me a bit of a felling of “manliness” to have a knife at the ready.   A screwdriver gives me the ability to bind things together to to separate them.  The sweatshirt with my university logo makes me feel warm but I bought THAT sweatshirt because I also wanted the feelings of accomplishment and belonging.

So why do our customers really buy OUR wine?  What does it DO for them?

That’s the challenge.  Wine is considered a complex good.  Translated…this means that there are so many possible reasons why people buy wine that it is difficult to say exactly why.  It is most likely a combination of reasons.  These reasons are both personal and situational.  The matrix is complex. It is always changing.

Your business, because of  your marketing (4 p’s), will attract certain customers.  These are the customers who have found something about you that satisfies enough of their wants.  Do you know what your customers are really buying?

I was talking with a friend/winery owner who I respect deeply for his thoughtful approach to business management.  He told me something to the effect: “you know, we are finding out that our customers aren’t who we thought they are.”  We agreed that getting a current snapshot would provide helpful strategic information and support decision making.

As you start the new year, hopefully refreshed and inspired by all of the possibilities that lie before you, it could be helpful to return to the foundation of your business by answering these (3) questions:

  • Who is our customer?
  • What is our business?
  • What does our customer consider VALUE?

Not only are the answers important, but your process of obtaining the answers is important.  When you involve your Teams, you build focus, consensus and understanding.  Your marketing (4 P’s) & innovation can then proceed in a focused, congruent, and successful pattern.

We wouldn’t suggest you do something that we haven’t done ourselves.  Check out our 2020 Strategic Foundation if you would like to see our example.

Our best!

Kristofer & the SWSI, llc TEAM

PS: In the mean time I will be investigating what happened to the last 19 or so knives…