You have a new idea for the business, you try it it doesn’t work… oops you try something else, oops. You start to get wary of trying new things (understandable). Others come up with ideas, you are reluctant to try them out. It all comes down to cultural fit. Let’s try an example.

You run a bike store selling Harley Davidsons and related regalia and have a successful business, your clientele is rough and tough (just ask them) or they want to be rough and tough (or at least look that way). The shop next door closes down and you have the chance to knock a hole in the wall and expand, sounds great yeah… But you realise there is so much room in there you can’t fill it.

A suggestion happens “Open a coffee shop” (you think a bar would be better but hey your previous ideas have tanked remember…) your partner agrees and puts in some nice tables, sets up a coffee machine, adds some cupcakes etc and vroom (like the topical touch?) you have a cafe.

Question, is it a good cultural fit?

That all depends on how business goes after that. Is there a decline in sales, people through the door and the length of times they stay? Is it on the positive side or not… If not why not?

Let’s say things take a slide, who or what are you going to blame? simple the Cafe, especially if the cafe is decked out to look like Grandma did the decor.

Now take a look at your business, how well do things fit for the staff, the clients and prospects?

Example, in your marketing, did you create and run an advert that failed to create any results? Many of us have done that. But what was it that caused it to fail? You looked at where it would be seen, you checked out the target audience, you compared prices with similar advertising, you did your research and found that other advertisers benefitted from the adverts they ran. You look at the advert and it reads okay, it looks okay but it died. Look at the target market what did they see? did it inspire them to take action? or did it miss the mark.

Perhaps you went for a way out creative angle and no one noticed or cared, when your target market is conservative and simply wanted to know the benefits of what you have to offer. Perhaps it was the other way around.

Cultural fit is vital if you want to connect with your target audience.

Lets say you develop a factory to make Wobbly Widgets, things go okay and you find the staff work ok for a while and then productivity starts to fade, you call a consultant they give you a few tips, one you can afford is to add piped music into the restroom facilities, nice touch, but pick music that has a wrong cultural fit and you could find the staff get annoyed rather than inspired.

Take a look at and think very carefully about how all aspects of your business fit culturally for the intended audience, you may just find a few things are out of alignment, adjusting these might make the world of difference.


Steve Gray -

Steve is a business educator – Trainer – Speaker (Steve You can get his Leadership E Book from
The info provided in these articles is for educational purposes only and is intended as a starting point for you to build your business from, not as specific advice.

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