29
Apr
07

What’s Bold About Being Kinky

Note: This post takes it’s inspiration from a fictionalized character, so for any purists out there, I apologize.

“I see this as a positive step for a company who spent the last century making a range of shoes for men to start the next century making shoes for a range of men.”

–Charlie Price, Kinky Boots

I just finished watching Kinky Boots. What could be more bold than changing a staid men’s shoe factory into a production line for male versions of female shoes? It takes a real man to face his employees and say, with a straight face, “You are making two-and-a-half feet of irresistible, tubular sex.”

Here’s what I think we all, including myself, overlook. Some of the best and boldest ideas are just waiting amongst the common, every day nonsense that surrounds us. How many of us, if we inherited a men’s shoe factory would make the connection to men, dressing as women, needing a different shoe? If you thought of it, would you dare do it?

A while back, a manager supplied a book called Blue Ocean Strategy. The content was a bit stiff, but the idea was interesting: look for an untapped market and find a niche with potential. In essence, don’t try to go head-to-head with large, established competitors. Figure out what service they aren’t supplying that customers want and provide it.

For instance, not everyone wants to shop only in a Barnes & Noble or buy coffee at Starbucks. Every couple of weeks, I stop at this local, used book store, and I find books that would never end up on B&N’s inventory controlled shelves. And while I’m not a coffee drinker, I am a hot chocolate aficionado. In my humble opinion (I refuse to use the acronym), the best place is called Moxie Java (please don’t judge based on the Web site).

Each location is independently owned and consistently good each time I visit. What’s interesting is that while some characteristics of each location are the same (menus, flavors, etc.), each one has a slightly different vibe, an individual personality. Given a choice between Moxie and Starbucks, I, and my coffee drinking friends too, choose Moxie every time.

The bold thing about being kinky is that you aren’t worried about trying to be all things to all people. Both my local bookstore and Moxie, while not technically kinky, took a look at the marketplace. They decided that if they did things differently, they could thrive against bigger competitors. These businesses found their niche, and they’re thriving. If you want the same results, it’s definitely worth thinking about being kinky.

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