Thursday, December 11, 2008

Birthday Parties?

In the MarketWatch interview I posted yesterday from Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, he offers a number of insights that separate truly customer oriented companies from the rest. Here are three of them:

  1. Goldner and his team are always trying to learn from their customers. It's more than just pouring through research or getting feedback from retailers, it's about keeping your eyes open at the childrens' birthday parties of family and friends both here and around the world. To see, and pay attention to, how and why children are responding the way they do upon opening and playing with their gifts adds important insights to raw data.
  2. Goldner is clearly a man who listens more than he talks. His natural curiosity and desire to understand what's happening with every aspect of the company in every corner of the world is palpable. When it comes to his customers, Goldner not only wants to know what media they're watching, but how they're watching.
  3. Goldner fundamentally understands that he's not just in the toy business. He's not leading a company that manufactures products; he builds experiences that shape the lives of young people, their families, and their communities. Because this is the lens through which he views Hasbro, the Hasbro brand naturally belongs in the broad spectrum of consumer entertainment experiences.

It's no secret why Hasbro has transformed and why it will prevail even in these tough economic times. It also shouldn't be lost on anyone that the companies with a reputation for delivering for their customers are not the ones needing bailouts right now.

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