Your Customers have changed and you need to act fast!
Our philosophy is, using internet technology, we can make every company become Amazon.
The customers have changed; they are not who they used to be!
Today’s customers no longer want the latest album on their shelf collecting dust instead they want access to the all the most recent albums on a streaming service like Spotify.
Today’s customer no longer aspires to own a car, why would they when an uber is only 2mins away, or they can hire a car for a weekend away (Volvo now do monthly subscriptions where there is no insurance, maintenance or tax to worry about).
They don’t want to go on generic holidays. Instead, they want Instagram friendly unique airband bs that offer originality.
And they no longer want or need a cow and why would they when they can still have 10 types of milk without risking their health or morals!
All these changes in customer behaviour have come about because companies have listened to customer needs!
So what does this mean for your business how can you become the Netflix or the Uber of your industry?
Well, what most don’t realise is that what these companies have done to grow is not make more elaborate products or come up with elaborate marking schemes to create bigger profits that just doesn’t work any more instead they have become customer-centric.
This means they have moved away from the old model of coming out with a shiny new product and then finding ways to sell it to people who didn’t even realise they wanted it, a bit like the kind of late night tv shopping channels that sell crap to drunk people.
No, Instead, these new companies have looked at the customer and built the product around them.
Out of the new fortune 500 companies Apple sells ‘aspirations’, Amazon sells ‘customer service’, Facebook sells ‘belonging’, Netflix sells ‘choice’.
These new companies all offer services not just products, in fact, the few fortune 500 companies that managed to survive these changing times are the ones who have also changed their offerings, IBM sold scales and tabulators now it sells ‘IT services’, General Electric sold lightbulbs now it sells ‘digital services’. Xerox moved from paper to ‘information services’, NCR sold cash tills now its selling ‘digital payment services’.
Now while most of you won’t be running fortune 500 companies, (well not yet) that doesn’t mean that this doesn’t affect your business.
If you think your selling say ‘cookies and coffee’ when you switch your focus to the customer what are they really buying, it might be ‘time’ if your product is fast food, it might be ‘status’ if your product is Instagram friendly, it could be ‘peace of mind’ if the product is cruelty-free.
I would suggest that it should ideally be a combination of all of the above, take Amazon, for example, they offer so many services for free that it’s hard to compete with them, but it’s by no means impossible.
As my man Biggie once said ‘mo money mo problems’, Amazon just can’t beat you on family values, or employee treatment to name just a couple of services you are maybe offering that you probably didn’t even realise!
What would you do if a customer had a complaint?
I bet you’re thinking a version of ”whatever it takes to make the customer happy”!
Then why haven’t you put that on your marketing material?
There are so many of these types of services that are going unrewarded because we are still following the old business school mindset of focus on the product.
If you already have a product its time to empty your cup and shift your focus on to your customer’s needs, wants and emotive reasons for swapping money for your offering.
On the other hand, if you are just starting out this is an excellent opportunity to find a customer, see their pain points and then build a product/ service that can help transform that part of their life.
This isn’t to say the quality of the product can be forgotten about, hell no, a good quality product is just a given!
We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful:
Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.