If you’ve got teenage kids, you’re probably aware of Twilight. Even if you don’t have teenagers, or aren’t even parents at all, it’s pretty hard to miss the pop culture phenomenon that is the Twilight saga.
Set over four books, it’s the tale of a love story between a teenage human girl and a teenage vampire boy. It’s not the greatest of stories and critics have complained about author Stephenie Meyer’s’ writing style, but none of that matters – the saga is a huge success.
The reason? It knew its audience – mainly teenage girls – and marketed to them accordingly.
The movie based on the first book was also a major success over the Christmas period, due in no small part to the incredibly good-looking and talented cast that brought the pages to life and the director that gelled it all together. While it swayed from the plot of the book in parts, fans were already looking forward to the next movie.
Then things started to go wrong.
The director of the first movie left, stating that the schedule of the next movie clashed with her timetable (although another view was that she clashed with some of the lead actors). A new director (Chris Weitz, who directed The Golden Compass based on another fantasy series) was brought in and this is where the fans are starting to show their disdain for the choice.
The supporting cast for the second movie includes actors that have appeared in High School Musical, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and The Suite Life with Zack and Cody. The feeling amongst the fans of the book series is that the director and producers of the next movie are going for “the Disney crowd” to try and expand the audience.
This is where they’re making their mistake, and it’s one that isn’t just restricted to movie studios.
Know Your Audience
It’s a given that you need to move on and explore new areas, or else you’ll be left standing while others around you are grazing from pastures new. But why do so many businesses seem intent on alienating their existing customer base while they look for new ones?
Your customers are the best PR, marketing, advertising and customer service employees your business will ever have. You don’t pay them to stay with you – they’re there because they want to be. You offer something they want, and you offer it in the way they want it as well. You really want to lose all this just to go for the in-fashion crowd of the moment?
Vampires Are Immortal – You Aren’t
Part of the attraction of the Twilight series is that it offers an idyllic view of what vampire life is like. The early pain of transformation gives way to the deliverance of extraordinary talents and strengths. Not to mention everlasting life and never growing old.
Businesses don’t have that luxury. While the company may initially be full of incredibly talented people across the board, temptations and dangers always hover in the background. Better paid jobs elsewhere for star employees and unwanted takeovers from larger competitors are just some of the possibilities.
So having a strong customer base is key to help you through these challenges. They’re the ones that will stay with you, the company, even if their favourite salesperson has left. They’re the ones that will buy your products, boost your profits that in turn will help you stave off competition and make you stronger.
Leaving them in the lurch for Johnny-come-lately will only serve to antagonize them and make them question your leadership. Once that happens, it’s game over. Sure, you can go after new blood – but that’s going to cost you and it’s also time-consuming. Do you have both in abundance?
There’s nothing wrong in looking to change your environment – stagnation is second only to ignorance when it comes to bad business practice. But change is only good when it involves everyone – remembering the people who put you in the position to consider change in the first place shouldn’t even be something you need to think twice about.
It’s not too much to ask – is it?