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Marcus Tullius Cicero saw the stifling danger of too much passion more than 2,000 years ago when he wrote, “He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.” When you’re passionate about your business, it can be downright difficult to be objective, which can severely limit your company’s growth.

Take, for example, Company X.

Company X has been in business for 30 years. The firm’s principal and founder built a strong, loyal client base. The clients share a similar demographic and psychographic make-up as the founder. They are in the same age range, share the same conservative beliefs and appreciate the firm’s “old school” ways. The founder is convinced the business model she developed has served the company very well through the years.

The challenge is that the client base is aging, and younger generations are either not aware of the firm or find the brand to be irrelevant — from the outof-date service model, to the dated brand image, to the firm’s lack of an online presence. Because of all of this, Company X is virtually invisible to the younger generation of clients.

While the founder is sincerely interested in attracting a new client base, it’s difficult for her to be objective about the right strategies. Why? These new strategies just don’t appeal to her. After all, she built this highly successful company trusting her gut instincts. While those instincts have been good at bringing in like-minded clients, her instincts are now limiting her ability to attract new consumers.

She loves this business that she spent her life building — so much so that fear is preventing her from moving the company forward by trying something new.

What’s the answer? Having an objective third-party research firm talk to prospective customers from the younger, targeted demographic can help the founder understand how these customers perceive the brand today, what they would like to see updated to help them better connect, and how and when they want to hear from the company. Research can provide proof that your preferences may not match those of your target audience.

If she still isn’t convinced, she can confirm what she learned from the research with some market testing, often called A-B testing. Her marketing team can deliver two different email campaigns, for example, at the same time to similar younger audiences — one with a more modernized messaging strategy and one using her tried-and-true tone. Measuring the responses to each may set her mind at ease that change will have a desired effect. If her loyal clients are truly loyal, a more modern brand won’t stop them from coming back, but she will also be opening the doors to a whole new customer.

If you want to create a legacy for your company that continues well past your retirement, push your passion aside for a moment and open your mind to new ways of marketing to a new era of clients.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing