Being a lifelong fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant, I have spent many hours defending them against their detractors. One thing that Kobe said in one of Nike’s campaigns on YouTube, though, is beyond reproach: Dominate Breakfast. Kobe goes on to instruct his listeners to dominate things such as waffles, karate, REM sleep, weather, art and even the galaxy.
His point, of course, transcends basketball (and breakfast) and is relevant to anyone in any industry: Whatever you are doing, you need to strive to be the best. Being good at what you do isn’t good enough – you need to dominate.
The applications in market research can be listed off just as quickly:
- Dominate client service
- Dominate recruitment
- Dominate moderation
- Dominate facility food
- Dominate reporting
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Martin Luther King made the same point: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
In day to day dealings with focus group/recruiting facilities and other market research companies, it’s easy to tell the difference between those who adopt this mentality and those who don’t. The extra effort and care ALWAYS comes through in contrast to those who feel it’s enough to just get the job done. Being successful isn’t good enough – you need to pursue “success at success.” And then when you have done that, keep pushing to achieve Success at Success at Success!
To all of the facilities out there: Trust me, everything you do is noticed, good or bad. Every above and beyond effort is remembered with a mental (or written) check mark, and every dirty plate left in a back room has a minus next to it. Every tough recruit that you pull off is remembered, and every day without an update is registered as well. The facilities that “get it” are the facilities that try harder and go beyond the scope of what’s expected. It’s not just a tremendous talent or a fancy room or great food (although those things are nice!). The successful facility is the one that tries the hardest to be the best – who doesn’t settle for being good or for being very good or even eventually being the best.
We recently conducted research in eight markets, seven of which successfully filled a relatively simple recruit. The eighth market filled the slots, reached their sample size, but their quality of respondents was seriously lacking. When pressed for an explanation, they replied simply with “we did our best.” Sometimes, that’s just not good enough for us and our clients, and when the opportunity presents itself to go back to that particular market, we’ll think twice.
There’s always somewhere that you can push harder – so remember, when Being the Best isn’t good enough and all else fails: Dominate Breakfast.