Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Know Your Audience: The Lesson of Jimi Hendrix and The Monkees

Yesterday I came across an account of a most unusual concert tour held July 8-17, 1967.  Some ostensibly bright minds came up with the idea of opening The Monkees with Jimi Hendrix!  The Monkees audience hated Hendrix' pyschedelic style and he had enough of their abuse after eight shows.

Were the proponents of this idea insane?  To them (Hendrix' manager and Monkee Micky Dolenz) the project made perfect sense!  Unfortunately they had a perspective that wasn't focused on the audience's needs or wants.  Michael Jeffrey desperately wanted to break Hendrix into a wider market in the U.S. and Dolenz was utterly fascinated with Hendrix' showmanship, knowing The Monkees were more show than music.  In both cases, the principals were focused on their own needs.

A wiser head might have suggested that Hendrix open for a band that had a similar style or accent.  The Monkees might have been better paired with someone equally pleasing to their followers.  The first consideration should have been "what do our customers want and need?"

Bottom Line:  Do we as small business owners make decisions about products and services that are focused on ourselves before customers?  Are we sending mixed messages about our brand by combining features, offerings, services, etc. that don't serve one target market?

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