Know Your Customer

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A friend of mine and his wife decided to build a beautiful restaurant in an expensive suburb.

It was their dream retirement. It was located amongst many others restaurants.

No one came to his restaurant but the Portuguese restaurant next to his was always full. And he complained bitterly about what he perceived as “racism”.

One day I passed through his restaurant and over lunch, I asked him some deep searching questions beginning with:

“Who is your customer?”

“What is your marketing strategy?”

“Have you built a brand?”

“Who is the chef?”

Then I added: “The Portuguese guy who owns the restaurant next door has spent his whole life running a restaurant whilst you were a banker. The people who frequent his restaurant have been following him around the city because he is an ‘expert in his field’. Even if he put up a simple tent, they would still come”.

“The menu he has is known throughout the neighborhood as we have all received them through fliers at our children’s schools, where he is also a parent and runs the soccer for the kids. Most of the school’s parents meet there for parent activities and he provides them free meals”.

Finally, I said: “You should get out of this business, because you don’t know anything about it.”

Good entrepreneurs are strategic, not opportunistic. They found themselves on expertise and a deep understanding of the customer. They develop strong marketing skills and drive innovation even in the simple-looking things.

By Dr Strive Masiyiwa


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