Feeling lucky?

This story from yesterday’s paper is a nice reminder of the considerable role that luck can play in firm success.

It seems stalwart McLaren Vale wine producer d’Arenberg is experiencing a nice upswing in demand, all because of an appearance in a Japanese comic book.

This is the sort of good fortune that firms can’t spend too much time hoping for, and really chasing. Sometimes you can just be in the right place at the right time.

There are numerous tales of firms finding themselves swept up in a demand spike not of their doing. Chris Anderson tells a comparable tale of Hush Puppies’ reemergence as fashionable footwear on the back of their rediscovery by New York hipsters – to which the shoe manufacturer was oblivious.

The challenge for firms in such circumstances is to make hay while the sun shines, but to not forget why such fortune was possible – because there was a product worth sneezing about.  Changing to better suit the new faddish customers will be a recipe for disaster.

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