Greetings. As the extended school break draws to a close–i.e., the one caused by the recent "Snowpocalyse" here in Washington–I've had the exciting opportunity to shuttle our kids and many of their friends to rescheduled soccer matches, swim team practices, movies, and a variety of "play" dates. In the process, I've also had the opportunity to listen to a lot of their music on CDs, iPods, the Pandora music service, and Hot 99.5–their current radio station of choice. And, while I actually enjoy listening to many of their songs, I realize that I'm not their target audience. To put things in perspective, I grew up in the era of the Beatles, the Stones, and the amazing early years of Motown. So today's music is a bit of a stretch for me with songs like:
- "Evacuate the Dance Floor" by Cascada
- "Paparazzi" and "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
- "Down" by Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne
- "Empire State of Mind" by Jay Z and Alicia Keys
- "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift
- "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas
- "TiK ToK" by Ke$ha
As well as a host of other songs that seem to have been memorized by almost every teenager and pre-teen on our side of the planet. Of course, it's not incredibly hard to memorize the most popular songs when they're played over and over again.
But it did get me thinking about whether or not our companies and organizations really resonate with the folks we desire to serve and whether we really understand who are target audiences are. Whether the stuff we offer has a strong enough beat and catchy enough lyrics to entice them to join in and make us a part of their daily routine. Whether the genius and value we offer is being delivered in a systematic way that engages and energizes them. And whether we keep bringing them new "tunes" or ideas that are worth their time and attention.
A big part of winning in business is making a visceral connection with customers. And this means really understanding them and their new world. Times change, and so do tastes in music. Maybe it's a good time to turn on a different radio station just to make sure that you and your colleagues are keeping up.