by Dan Ward
Thanks to an invitation from my friends at Florida Power & Light, I had the opportunity to attend the Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce annual dinner Monday night, featuring “Shark Tank’s” Daymond John.
John provided many helpful hints for entrepreneurs that I can take back to our business, but what caught my attention were comments about a celebrity family ridiculed by many (including me) for being famous for nothing … the Kardashians.
Rather than jump on the bandwagon to poke fun at the famously famous family, John used them to illustrate an important rule for business.
In his words, anyone who believes the constantly battling, seeming vacuous family members are dumb, lucky, or a combination of the two simply doesn’t understand. As someone who knows and has worked with the family, he describes them as highly intelligent business people who simply discovered what their customers (the audience) want, and are more than willing to give it to them.
“They’re successful because they know their audience,” John said, noting that too many businesses fail because they’d rather sell what interests them, rather than what their customers want and need.
That’s an important rule not only for celebrities in the “unreal reality genre,” but also for business communicators. Whether our audience includes business leaders, government officials, retail consumers, media or a combination, we can’t be successful unless we’ve done our homework to know who they are, what they want and how they prefer to receive information. To be successful, we need to speak with our customers, not at them.
As the famous archer Howard Hill wrote, “Unless you know your game’s feeding, sleeping and daily habits, unless you plan your hunt in great detail and follow your plan with precision, you are not hunting at all … you’re just walking in the woods.” The Kardashians might often seem lost in the woods, but according to Daymond John, they’re actually darn good hunters.