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New Ideas Can Come From Anywhere

A sign of Ledley King, Tottenham Hotspur legend, painted on a wall in the Tottenham neighborhood of London. 

The quote next to Ledley says, "This is my club. My one and only club."


I’ve done more market research projects in the last 3 years than I ever had before.

The big key: look at your research and insights as directional information, but not as the end all of your decision-making process.

A second key idea that usually trips up people is the idea that “You are not your customer.”

What does this mean?

In marketing, we have to fight the belief that we “know” what the customer wants.

We don’t.

We can’t.

We are too close to the business, to the challenge.

It is why I start almost every class, workshop, or training with the idea: “Remember, you are not your customer.”

Not reminding yourself of this can trip you up.

You can assume your challenges are what people are struggling with that you know the solution. And, that this is the door to a new HUGE opportunity.

  • Here’s a case study on what that looks like and the steps this might lead you to need to take to get this idea off the ground.

Finally, I looked at the business of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Spoiler: We are big Spurs fans at our house!

The point of the investigation was to figure out if there were some growth lessons from Spurs’ new-ish stadium because the new stadium brings in £1M in increased revenue each match compared to White Hart Lane.


There are lessons.

You don’t need a new building to generate new revenue, but it doesn’t hurt.

One big lesson: Are there partners you can work with? Unique ways to expand your footprint even within the context of what you are doing?

Growth lessons:

  • Know your customers.
  • Look for directional insights, but remember all of your data is backward-looking.
  • Don’t fall prey to ‘the way we’ve always done things’.

Let me know what you are attempting to create new opportunities in the comments.