Chamber President’s Column - November 2017

Posted on 15/11/2017

Case studies illustrate ways of developing new businesses.

In my Columns I like to explore and introduce readers to new subjects which illustrate ways of developing new businesses.

I was recently watching the YouTube channel of Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) with its stream of the 2017 Revival Meeting. Please stick with me, even if you are not directly interested in motor sport. Goodwood makes an illuminating case study.

The former WW2 airfield nestling at the foot of the South Downs, near Chichester, which originally formed the circuit, has become a star attraction in the annual calendars of an increasing number of people.

Enhanced and updated by the present Lord March, the 2.4 mile motor circuit is again attracting large numbers of spectators, participating teams and their drivers. The heritage and history of the iconic circuit have been exploited to its fullest extent. New captivating reasons to attend are constantly being added.

What makes it especially interesting is the number of marketing boxes that it ticks; all with great effect. Spectacle and Entertainment, tick; Leisure, tick; Lifestyle; Fashion, and, yes Motorsport, all under a single powerful brand. There is a waiting list for tickets; and, now, a Fellows membership with its own special privileges.

Lord March and his team are to be congratulated for reinventing and reinvigorating Goodwood, after it closed in the 1960s. The circuit lay dormant for many years. A far cry from its hey-day of racing where leading teams and their drivers, like Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Jack Brabham, Graham Hill and Jim Clark, amongst others, made their names.

The races in which they drove and won are now celebrated in the Members’ and Revival meetings.

Goodwood makes a strong case study because it shows how you can develop significant business opportunities. I know that it has particular advantages in its location, heritage, specialist market, and its potential audiences and customers.

You might say that there is no connection with my business. I would like to invite you to think again. If you start to peel away some of the layers of the business, like an onion, you can begin to see how it has been developed. I looked at it and saw how its propositions to target customers, for example, are addressed.

The brand messages are powerfully delivered to its audiences. And, the appeal of the events has been extended right across Lifestyle. and Leisure. At the Revival Meeting, dressing in period costume has become one of the major highlights. It makes the weekend all-embracing; and adds to the occasion.

The team behind Goodwood are constantly reinventing and updating. Like all of us, their market and its customers doesn’t stand still.

Following their example and looking back on what you have achieved over the past 12 months makes great sense. As we draw towards the end of 2017, it’s a good time to be holding your own annual review.

Our markets are constantly changing and developing. It is of critical importance to be fully up-to-date and aware of what is taking place. Knowledge of all the major changes that are occurring in your sector is a powerful business tool.

The historic, now price-less cars that formed the centre piece of the original racing events remain the core of Goodwood. Around that GRRC has successfully added a closely connected, inter-related palette of entertainment and experiences.

Your newly introduced products and services might only be minor tweaks and revisions to what you were already offering to customers. In the process though, you will have refreshed what you are providing. And, there will be new opportunities for you to promote them.

Chamber Link is always a good starting point to get your new messages in front of Chamber members and many others. The Editors are always looking for the latest stories; and adding an appropriate photograph is more than just the icing on the cake.

I welcome feedback and comment on this column and the work and activities of the Chamber. You can contact me at [email protected]

Simon Chapman

President of Burton and District Chamber of Commerce

Managing Director, Yee Group Limited