How Vince Lombardi Would Explain Market Research

This isn’t an article about football — it’s an article about fundamentals.  We’re all marketers here and sometimes we get so wrapped up in the details and learning new things, that we forget about the fundamentals.  And when it comes to fundamentals, I go to the iconic Vince Lombardi quote “Gentlemen, this is a football.”  

So let me give you some context on this quote because I didn’t know the full story and maybe you don’t either.  I found this story about that moment and thought I’d share it with you here:  lombardi

On one occasion his team, the Green Bay Packers, lost to an inferior squad. It was bad enough to lose . . . but to lose to that team was absolutely inexcusable. Coach Lombardi called a practice the very next morning. The men sat silently, looking more like whipped puppies than a team of champions. They had no idea what to expect from the man they feared the most.

Gritting his teeth and staring holes through one athlete after another, Lombardi began:

“Okay, we go back to the basics this morning. . . .”

Holding a football high enough for all to see, he continued to yell:

“Gentlemen, this is a football!”

How basic can you get? He’s got guys sitting there who have been playing on gridirons for 15 to 20 years . . . who know offensive and defensive plays better than they know their kids’ names . . . and he introduces them to a football! That’s like saying, “Maestro, this is a baton.” Or, “Librarian, this is a book.” Or, “Marine, this is a rifle.” Or, “Mother, this is a skillet.” Talk about the obvious!

Why in the world would a seasoned coach talk to professional athletes like that? Apparently, it worked, for coaches don’t lead their teams to three consecutive world championships all the time. But—how? Lombardi operated on a simple philosophy. He believed that excellence could be best achieved by perfecting the basics of the sport.

Marketing professional — this is market research

Market research is the process of methodically obtaining, recording and then analyzing the data or information about prospective customers, business competitors plus the existing market trend is called Market Research. It is used to design and create an effective and efficient business plan, to project and launch new products or services into the market, to position and fine tune current services or products, or to expand and increase the reach of the existing product or service. Market research sometimes is used to estimate what parts of the population are interested and are most likely to purchase a product or service, after analyzing and studying many variables including gender, age, income level and location.

But here’s the important part — all of this information is gathered for the purpose of making profitable business and marketing decisions — not because we are purely curious about the information.  And this is where so many of us go off track.  We get so excited about what we might learn, that we lose sight of the goal — to make profitable business decisions.

  • What are the existing market trends?
  • Which way is the market going?
  • Who are the other parties involved with similar products?
  • What are the views of consumers about products in the marketplace?
  • What are the prime needs of the market?
  • What are the new business opportunities?
  • How successful are the existing products in meeting the needs of the consumers?

The next time you feel the pull of “that would be interesting to know”, remind yourself of what information you need to make a profitable business and marketing decision — that is your football.