Data drives business

July 20, 2016By Behind the Shelf Blog, Data Analysis and Management

by Julie Bonnell

There is an artisanal chocolate maker in my community. His chocolates are amazing and well worth making a special trip to buy. He is also a bit of a character. He won’t let you into his shop unless he knows something about you. When you come to his shop for the first time, you have to ring a door bell. He meets you and lets you across the threshold but not into the store until he interviews you all the while looking you over from top to bottom:

  • Where do you live (what neighborhood in the city)?
  • How long have you lived there?
  • What do you do for a living?

At which point he shares how those stats compare to other people he has interviewed. Apparently my husband and I live in a neighborhood populated by healthcare professionals, nurses, physical therapists, and teachers! Who knew?! He did!

The other thing he commented on was our professions. He thought what my husband does is really cool – he manufacturers components for crew comfort on trains. When I explained what HRG does he told me, “You sell common sense!”

The next thing you notice about the shop: no prices listed anywhere. Beautiful little shelves display bags of chocolates with labels describing them. You tell him what you want and he quotes a price.

By the way, this gentleman does not advertise. His shop is known by word-of-mouth. However, he also has made sure he is well known in the home chef community, providing them with samples of his product. In fact, that’s how I learned of him one weekend while out looking for a very specific piece of kitchen hardware in a kitchen supply store. The sales clerk helping me mentioned his shop and gave me directions to get there.collecting data about his customers

Leaving the shop and munching on some heavenly dried blueberries covered in chocolate I thought of his comment about “selling common sense.” Let’s face it – data drives business and he was doing an exceptional job collecting data about his customers. Unfortunately, his approach is not scalable.

How could HRG’s data – as he said, “common sense” – drive your business? How well do you know your customer? How do you know what price they are willing to pay? Who else is like them? In my next post I’ll give you some ideas of how HRG data can help your brand succeed.