How did Masters fail when Bunnings is doing so well? It’s simple, Masters (who are owned by Woolworths) fell into the trap of thinking that because Coles and Woolies do so well despite occupying the same area of the market, that Masters would do the same.
What they appear to have neglected to do is ask three simple questions.
Three questions you need to ask before launching a new product or business
- Do people even want what I have to offer?
- Can I offer something of value that is different to what is currently in the market?
- Can I market it in a way that makes people listen and get excited?
You don’t need to have the perfect answer for each question, but to really succeed, you will need to be able to answer at least two.
Do people want what you have to offer as a product or service?
This one’s a biggie.
There needs to be a place for your product in the market. Sometimes there might not be an obvious answer to this question and that’s where market research comes in. If you’re looking at the market and what you have to offer isn’t out there already, that’s where question 3 becomes important.
You need to be able to market it effectively in order to engage your audience to create that need and want for your product so that you can answer question 1.
Let’s go back to the case of Bunnings and Masters.
Masters have come in and I don’t even know if they have asked these questions; it doesn’t look like they have. These are the 3 simplest questions you can ask before going into anything that can save you, in this case, millions of dollars.
- Do people want what I have to offer? There are plenty of hardware stores out there; Bunnings, Mitre Ten, and then all of the local hardware stores. I don’t think they’ve answered this question and if they did, the answer is no. The people don’t really need another hardware store unless there is something special about it.
- Is there anything of value we can offer? Even though there are plenty of hardware stores out there, you can still capture a part of the market by offering them something different or of value.
Masters has completely failed in this area. They’ve tried to do exactly what Bunnings did, not offer anything really different and they don’t even give you a sausage sizzle on the weekend!
- Can you market it in a way to engage people, give it something quirky so that it stands out in the crowd? Nope. See you later Masters.
They didn’t ask the questions and couldn’t deliver the answers.
Don’t do what Masters did. They’ve gone into business with a “me too” mentality.
They saw Bunnings and Masters as Coles and Woolworths. They thought if that could stand test of time, they could build up a hardware chain that could match that.
This decision didn’t respect the market and people at all. They’ve essentially assumed that we are all mindless sheep – we shop at Woolworths and Coles so this will translate over to shopping at Bunnings and Masters.
This is such a dangerous thought pattern. Woolworths and Coles have grown hand in hand together for decades. That loyalty and trust has been built over time. You can’t expect to come in and be as big as Bunnings by copying them. They have had decades to build up that market loyalty and trust. You can’t compete with that – especially not if you’re not even going to offer a sausage sizzle on the weekend!
They’ve gone in guns blazing, unloaded the clip and failed which has left them standing there with nothing.