Our course, International Business Made EZ, is based around three fundamental ideas know thyself, know thy customer and know thy finances. The article below confirms the importance of knowing thy customer.
USA Today's December 2, Money section featured an article entitled “You ordered it from Horchow? That's rich.” This article was evocative because it shows no matter how bad the economy, well-run businesses still thrive. So I guess we'll have to throw away the excuse “We can't succeed because of the recession”.
The article says, “Even in economically tough times, when the catalog industry's $60 billion sales are projected to be down as much as 3%, Horchow expects to post double digit growth as it has for the past four years running.”
The article explains that Horchow's success formula wows a female market (90% of the purchases are made by women) with ornate, one of a kind stuff. During this economy when most retailers are convinced consumers want bargains and deals, Horchow's catalog offers such things as a $1,040 duvet bed cover (sorry no bed included), an $11,000 couch and a $249 leather box called a watch winder (the box's only purpose is to continuously circle Rolex watches round and round so multi watch owners will not have to worry about their watches unwinding. By the way, these boxes are selling by the thousands.
The article points out many reasons beyond Horchow's success, including top service, a secret phone number for big dollar buyers and super trained telephone staff. Another foundation of their success? They completely know their buyer. “She is 45 to 50 years old, has an annual household income in excess of $100,000, has a college degree, drives an SUV and lives on either coast or at least in a major metropolitan area.”
They even know that roosters are the most popular design for these wealthy people because they are homey. That's why they have roosters etched on every conceivable type of household item and expect to sell 4 million dollars worth of stuff with roosters on it this year. During this depressed holiday seasons they expect to sell lots of decorative rooster pillows for $499.
Do you know your customer that well? If you don't, spend more time getting to know thy customer. Do this and your business will grow.
Until next message may all your business (and your customers) be good!