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Throttling the goose

The death throes of the Wellington Sevens illustrate one of our favourite business maxims: act in the interests of your audience, not your peers.

A few years ago the Sevens reached its crazy hedonistic zenith. Criticism of the audience took hold among Wellington influencers and decision-makers.

Anxious to assuage the critics, the organisers criticised those attending their event, toughened entry and conduct rules, and modified alcohol availability.

The result is obvious; the peers and special interests were satisfied, but the customer wasn’t. The old audience has declined sharply and no new audience wants to go.  This week NZRugby said falling attendance levels made the event “not viable”.

Next time you’re being criticised by peers or special interests, check whether the customers that pay your wages feel the same way.

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