1. Delacroix is an avant-garde dance troupe based in New York and its mission is to bring modern dance to as many people as possible. Natalia Georgio is the executive director in Delacroix. She plans to go internationally as well as television and film engagements. To achieve the plans, recently she hires a new marketing manager, Elizabeth Gardos, who has much experience before. Henry, a company’s founder, believes that company’s development is originally from employees and dancers, not from customers.
Right now, Natalia faces a situation that she needs to decide whether to bring Elizabeth’s customer research plan to the board or follow Henry’s lead. “Should you listen to the customer” is the main puzzle in the situation.
2. 1) For short-term purpose, Delacroix need not do market research. 2) Survey should be put in perspective which is understands the customer.
3. My position is quiet neutral, but more inclined to customer research is not needed for short term purpose. In general, Delacroix should not launch customer research initiative.
Although both sides have good points, but I still insist not launch customer research. The most important reason is that this type of company needs provide an unforgettable customer experience. This type of company is not a company that makes products where marketing department have to do lots of research, it is a company that delivers art. It is a dance company that people expect to be entertained and relaxed. If customers know before what is to be expected, they may feel boring and might not go back to see again.
For example, if someone told customers what to expect in today’s movie, customers will not experience surprise in the movie. Dance performance is creative business and Delacroix cannot get that much meaningful data or information from customer research. When customers go to cinema, will the advertisement agency asking the target audience what kinds of advertisement they would like to see? Of course not. The characteristics of the entertainment companies are totally different from other categories of business. This type of company perform their works based on inspiration, if they do a customer approach, they might lose their best customers. Then, Henry mentioned that they do not sell “clothes”. Let’s take Apple for example.
The mission statement of Apple is working on the users’ experience. If they had surveyed before inventing products, the Iphone might not be created. Since most of consumers at that time never experienced touch screen experience. How would they respond to touch screen in Apple survey. But for long term purpose, marketing research is important. We can have secondary data whether the audience satisfied with music, price and so on. Generally, market research should not be used for Entertainment Company, market research only need to be used for purposes of price, environment and so on.
4) This is a very interesting case study. I definitely learnt a lot from it. For fashion business, I have different opinions about fashion designers’ companies and fashion retail companies. For fashion designer’s company (like Chanel), they do not need have much marketing research. Like Delacroix, Chanel are entertainment company and are not perceived as a company driven by customer suggestions (like Apple). Customers are willing to buy new collection in each season for the most fashionable trend. They are buying new design, new inspiration and new innovation. Excess marketing research is not needed for designers’ company.
No one would like to rebuy fad or same style clothing. Moreover, for those companies such as Saksfifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman, they are dealers and department stores that their main task is to sell products as much as they can. They have to apply more market research to identify customer service and loyalty. Generally, the key point is designers’ company might lose its competitive edge by paying more attention to customer suggestions rather than by their own innovation. Fashion retail companies should focus on customer research management (CRM).