1. Consumers are the kings!
As a consultant, I have worked for a number of companies, both small start-ups and global companies with three-digit million DKK turnover, which had launched their products without actually knowing whether there was a need in the market – and it failed! In my previous work developing new LEGO concepts, our team could present a lot of good ideas – but the only thing that really interested the management was: “What do the children say?”.
Therefore: Test your concept continuously and a with a minimum of 15-20 people within the target audience each time, for example 3-4 focus groups or personal interviews.
2. Without passion your business dies
If you are not passionate about what you’re doing, stop immediately, and use your energy on something else. I have advised numerous companies that wanted too many things at once – both customers and employees were confused – and therefore the company lost revenue.
Therefore: The company’s mission and vision should be defined by no more than two sentences each. Define the mission short: Why you are going to work every day? Define the vision short: What would you like to change about the world?
3. Think like a start-up
To really succeed with innovative business concepts that ensure the future of the company, you need to distance from existing product range. It often takes new employees or external help.
Therefore: In your development process of new concepts, invite externals and ask yourself: If we imagine that we did not have XX and XX on the shelves, what would we sell?
4. Find your company’s 3-4 unique characteristics in the market
When I advise companies on their uniqueness and overall “offer” to consumers, I always start from the outside in – and very specific. An example would be the way you serve the customers, your technology etc. I recommend max. 3-4 unique areas where your company is REALLY unique. More areas become unmanageable.
Therefore: Imagine that you are going to write the company’s obituary notice. What would you write? Identify max. 4 main areas where you actually make a difference for your customers and competitors. The more specific, the better.
5. Choose the right customers to target
Many companies do not know their customers well enough. What characterizes them, which challenges do they have and how can the company help them at best? Learn how to drop the least attractive customers, so you can gather all your energy on the most obvious and profitable ones.
Therefore: You need to understand the customer’s behavior and needs. Which frictions can you identify? And how can you help the customer with it?
6. Drop conventional ways of thinking in communication
Too many companies use classic and formal communication, which in no way involves or triggers the heart. Having open, authentic and honest dialogue with our customers is the future way to sell – which includes both B2C and B2B.
Therefore: Drop the idea of the perfect campaign and the perfect communication text. Consumers and customers require authenticity and genuineness. The rawer and unfiltered, the better.
Founder of the strategy and marketing agency Brems & Co. www.brems.dk , founder and organizer of the DigitalOdense conference and co-founder of the expert portal www.experticon.com.
What do you like about Odense?
The entrepreneurial spirit that really puts its mark on the city in these years.
What is your best entrepreneurial advice?
Be passionate about what you do, otherwise drop it.