During a visit to my brother and sister-in-law recently in their home town of Altrincham, we enjoyed a(nother) wonderfully enjoyable lunch in the old market.
Here, a local entrepreneur has had the insight and stamina to doggedly push forward his vision for a neglected Victorian market, reinventing it as an inspiring food venue, championing local produce and offering a whole host of gastronomic treats to its many eager customers. With strictly no reservations, visitors happily sip a local beer or coffee, soaking up the atmosphere until a space becomes available at one of the shared trestle style tables.
It’s easy to put this success down to luck, but what has really driven this project forward is a deep understanding of the local demographic and an ability to create an experience and brand that resonates really well with its customer base.
A local with an unshakable faith in what could work for the town, and importantly an intimate knowledge of his customer, he has been supremely successful in creating a buzzing and inspiring food destination, attracting regional and national visitors and recently winning a much coveted national food award.
When thinking about who our next customer might be, it is tempting to spend time developing complex strategies on what we can do to best make them notice us. It seems, however, that we may give ourselves a better chance of success if we take the time to notice them first.
By Investing time to recognise and really understand our customers, listening closely to them and fully exploring what makes them tick, we will be in the best possible place to create a service or product that firmly meets their needs.
Opportunities for growth may well be far closer to home than you think.