Thursday, 20 November 2008

What does your customer want done?

Scott D. Anthony asks in the Discussion Leader (
"Who is your competition?"

Its a very motivating thought. Looking beyond the he points out "what is the consumer trying to get done?". We think immediately of Theodore Levitt's classic "What business are you in?" (a must read for any young MBA/ marketing practitioner)

Our example- Michelin, a tire company. It started as one. Need not have remained so focused on this business, though. Its brand that stood for quality mobility...and it should have moved in many new directions. A travel website- tie in the Michelin star rated restaurants to star rated accommodation, star rated holidays .....why did the lonely plant take over this space? Why did Opodo or a bevy of travel websites take over this space , given that Michelin's maps are the finest and most widely used - at least in Europe.

The customer's state of mind is not static. We use a product, and once we have mastered it, we want to take it to the next level. This is mostly interpreted by companies as the license to build a better mousetrap.

The consumer wants to be engaged 24/7. Most young people we know want to be connected to their peers on their terms. Not all the time...but when they want the connectivity, they expect to have it. Technology makes this possible. Smaller devices, more powerful devices allow them to "waste time" playing games...yet get on the internet in a second to look at the the assignments due for the next day.

Clearly what an Apple understands about technology and the needs people want to satisfy with it, Sony does not understand.

Truly remarkable question this..."what does you customer want get done?"

Ritu and Venkat

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