Should you listen to the Customer?
Why doesn’t Henry want to listen to the customers? Does he have a point? Are there some businesses where you should not listen to the customer? What about his Smurf comment Henry does have a point indeed. The Company has a long history of success, a constant growth despite the difficult economic times and 90.000 people that signed the fan site. Delacroix is a dance company that brings to its customers creative, innovative artistic programs, meant to be memorable. This kind of outcome is a unique results generated by the talent and innovation of all artists involved. It is true that a limiting factor such as what clients wants would be a significant change in the way things are done and the artists might feel that their freedom is limited. The Smurf example is an extreme one, but in the end is represents a symbol of what boundaries could do to the artistic freedom. Because if the above, Henry strongly believes that they are doing well and change will not be useful. Delacroix is not the only example of companies acting this way. I think that the most famous example is Apple. They said many times ( at least at declarative level) that asking the clients what they want it would be useless, as the client will want all the time something else. What is needed to be done is to create through innovation new products that the clients will love as soon as they see them even if they never thought that they would need them.
Could marketing research have prevented the “mask incident “discussed in the case? What was Henry’s response to this Yes, marketing research could’ve help on the “mask” issue. A research on the clients (at least those listed on the fan site) would reveal how many of them come to the theatre with children and what the families would like to see (or what they do not want to see) on the show. Henry admits that this was a mistake from their part and classifies it as an unfortunate...
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