Know Your Audience
Innovation is about the consumer. The important thing to remember is that the consumer decides the success or failure of your product. Interestingly though, you can’t always ask the consumer what they want and expect innovation. When asked about this subject, Henry Ford (of Ford Motors) said:
“If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse”
So what do we do? It is important that you know your audience. Notice I didn’t say, “know about” your audience. If you only know about your audience, you will only be able to give them what they are asking for. But if you truly know your audience, you will be able to give them something they don’t know they want.
Lessons About Knowing Your Audience
Here we have 2 clips; the first is from a few years back. This first clip is from The Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Here Triumph is interviewing people waiting in line for Star Wars Episode II. It is approached with obvious humor, and seen as comedy. The Conan O’Brien Show knows their audience and the people they are interviewing.
This next clip comes from recent television coverage of the iPhone 3G release. Here the reporter tried the same tactic as Triumph, but failed miserably. Maybe it’s easier to take insults from a toy puppet? Or maybe Apple fans have less of a sense of humor than Star Wars fans. The bottom line is, this guy did not know his audience. (The hyphenated “i-Phone Mania” in the lower third of the news clip is only more evidence to that fact)
Another important lesson…Don’t try to insult your audience on Live TV. Late night was smart enough to pre-record their bit.