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Bascom Is Charting Courses
"When you're sailing, there aren't many things under your control," he explained. "You have no control over the waves; you can't control the wind or the weather, or your competition. The only thing you've got under your control is the boat."
As such, a sailor needs to have a well-tuned boat, the right gear and sails, a strong team and a smart course. When the wind changes, the team needs to be prepared to tack and jibe along with it.
"Business is much the same way," Bascom said. "You have no control over the economic climate, over interest rates, your competitors — a lot of key aspects of the business. The company of the future needs to have a good solid boat, gear and team, be constantly watching for wind shifts, and have a plan and strategy to get there."
As a sailor, Bascom fielded the winning team for the Sailing World Lands End Detroit NOOD Regatta in 2003 and 2004. Through his three-employee market research and strategy firm, he has helped chart the course for companies such as Herman Miller, Steelcase, VeriSign, Miller Brewing Co. and a vast array of other companies large and small.
"Companies call us when they're interested in growth or increasing the value of their organization," Bascom said. "They're looking at new products or service industries, or they want to get into a new market."
In a recent case, the Holland-based firm was tapped by an office furniture maker looking to introduce a series of construction integrated products, but was unsure of what market sector in which to launch the platform. Velocity managed a research campaign involving hundreds of facilities managers and developers, then laid out what it believed to be the proper strategy to bring the product to market.
For another client, the firm introduced a struggling furniture line to leading architecture and design firms, a campaign that allowed the client's penetration into new markets.
"We make sure that they are properly targeted and focused on the most profitable customer bases," Bascom said. "We help the dollars they are investing in sales and marketing be more effective."
In 2000, he founded Velocity Partners.
With the shuttering of the local Kennedy Research branch, there was no true market research firm in
To some degree, Velocity fills that void. Through its partners, the company can deliver lengthy and sophisticated research products, but its service does not end there.
"We help them execute that information," Bascom said. "Companies are going to ask questions. They want to know what the customers want and what their competitors are doing, or what a market segment looks like and how they can fit into it, and we're there to answer those questions."
Bascom believes there is great opportunity for companies in
For six years, Velocity has worked to create strategies for clients in the areas of architecture and design, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, office furniture, real estate development and construction, financial services, technology and luxury goods. It has proven itself the foremost company of its kind in the office furniture sector, and is rapidly gaining penetration in segments dominated by the nation's largest consulting firms. One such new client is VeriSign, the industry leader in authentication software.
The company is also looking to attract more clients from
Prior to Whittman-Hart, Bascom worked for Windquest International, a subsidiary of gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos' Windquest Group, putting together North American distribution programs for Asia-sourced consumer products.