Good morning again, David Elliott. I’d like to talk a little bit about a funny topic perhaps, but it hopefully will illustrate a point. All of these videos can be seen both on YouTube and on degconsultancy.co.uk, but what I’d like to talk about now is the fact that you can’t sell champagne from milk bottles. What do I mean by this? Well what I’m suggesting here is that when a company is looking at the challenges of it’s marketplace then what it does has to fit both with the organisation itself and with the external environment. In other words, it has to have something that is termed “bi-congruency”. An illustration will perhaps help here, where if a low cost supermarket wishes to attract a very specific segment, for example those who are interested in organic foods, then it has to be aware of who shops with them.
It is unlikely the example quoted will make any sense. It may be philosophically interesting to suggest that all you products are from an organic source, but if your customers are coming to get value for money then perhaps having products from an organic source will not be high on their priority list. So that is a mismatch, and what we’re talking really about is avoiding a mismatch, avoiding the ridiculous situation where you’re trying to sell champagne from a milk bottle. How can companies prevent this sort of thing happening? One example is to not over-promise. Ideas from the marketplace are readily available nowadays. There are trend-spotting websites so it’s very easy to pick up an idea. However, is that idea relevant for your company? Is it within your specific competencies and will it actually appeal to you customer profile? This type of analysis needs to be done, needs to be rigorously exercised, within the organisation, and sometimes this can be quite difficult because we all like to feel perhaps “Walter Mitty”-like, that we are a little bit better than in fact we are. It’s no problem to stretch and try to constantly improve, but you must do that which you’re competent to do. In other words, don’t over-promise, don’t try to sell champagne in milk bottles and stick really to what you’re good at.
If you’re able to do this then over time it’s likely you will get better and better at what you do, and in fact the costs of delivering the service or product are likely to decrease, at least reduce, and that will allow you to have more time to learn to add to your offering and enable you to grow together with your customers. Thank you very much.