Apr 03, 2022
In Welcome to the Forum
These statements all point to one thing: complacency. Blockbuster, Nokia, Kodak, and RIM (makers of the once-iconic BlackBerry) are just a few examples of major corporations falling prey to complacency. Not careful enough to look at the traces of the times, unable to innovate, not knowing how to change, and unwilling to take risks. Another complacent statement is "Our customers know that we are the leader at XYZ and provide the best products and services." But are they really? And, are you really? The truth is, clients don't remember your past glory for long. Although people are a product of habit, in a fast-paced world, the only constant is change, and we are always looking for better options— intentionally or not . Faced with increasing time pressures, customers expect companies to innovate and push products and services into new territories that make their lives easier in significant ways . Bill Gates calls it "what have you done for me lately?" syndrome. It's customer desire for innovation, new colors and screen sizes, better prices, faster service... If you exercise caution, customers may overtake you and move to better options. They will find them. Complacency and reluctance to innovate are built on the false hope that customers will not change. In today's economy, where markets and customers change so quickly, if you don't innovate, you run the risk of falling behind just as quickly. Let's take a closer look at Kodak. Great success with cameras and film. However, their problem was that they failed to respond to the changing market and customer demands for digital cameras and easy photo sharing. They are too stuck in the old ways to understand that customer expectations and behaviors have changed. Ultimately, drive them out of the market. The lesson learned here is: be customer-centric. Take the time to get to know them and think about how to solve their problems and make their lives easier or better as the world around them changes. Ask yourself: what have we done for our clients lately? Are our products and services market competitive? Do they meet customer expectations? Are we challenging the status quo? Will we win as the industry changes? These are simple questions you should keep asking yourself to re-evaluate your business and its role with your customers. If you industry mailing list your questions honestly, you will stop yourself from becoming complacent and always looking for ways to strengthen your value proposition. Recent history provides us with many examples of how quickly customers are changing their habits and preferences in a digital world, and how human-centred innovation is the only path to continued loyalty and business growth. People no longer want to leave their homes to rent movies? ⇨ Netflix has acquired 92 million customers over the past five years. People no longer want to deal with inflexibility and lack of transparency when they call a car ? ⇨ Uber's revenue last year was $7.5 billion, while its competitor Lyft surpassed $1 billion in revenue in 2017. People no longer want to spend hours researching purchases? ⇨ AI digital sales assistants drive conversions, with 88% of consumers saying it would be beneficial for stores to use them in product categories such as electronics, white goods, telecommunications, automotive or financial services. People no longer want to stay in clinical hotel rooms, but want to feel more home away from home? ⇨ Airbnb will be 10 years old in August 2018, and in its short life has grown to a value of $30 billion. There are other good examples of companies seizing opportunities and defining the market by not allowing themselves to become complacent. Amazon Amazon continues to innovate its products and services as well as marketing and communications around current and anticipated future customer needs. What keeps them from becoming complacent is people-centredness. Not only is it now a full-stack online retailer, but it also has one of the most successful loyalty programs. Despite the fees, Amazon's Prime membership has reached 100 million. Amazon to the store Source: Seattle Times Today, Amazon produces TV shows, offers cloud hosting through Amazon Web Services, and its own virtual assistant, Alexa, is competing fiercely with the likes of Google Home. Its pop-up stores and no-queue, no-checkout Amazon Go stores even blur the lines between online and offline. Amazon also has one of the best customer service, easy returns, high community engagement, and a hassle-free shopping experience overall, including a digital sales assistant that helps online customers easily find and select the right products, from laptops to strollers, Even dog food. Amazon Dog Food Digital Sales Assistant Pepsi When PepsiCo realized that their younger consumers were becoming more health-conscious and wary of carbonated beverages, they wisely moved to healthier options by acquiring Tropicana, Gatorade and Quaker Foods, establishing themselves as a healthy choice status of supporters. The move makes them a more popular brand than Coca-Cola, whose Diet Coke simply can't do it. Pepsi's new Tropicana Essentials probiotic is a bet on the health and wellness space. Photo courtesy of PepsiCo PepsiCo's New Tropicalana Essentials Probiotics Pepsi's new Tropicana Essentials probiotic is a bet on the health and wellness space. Photo courtesy of PepsiCo Sephora Another company that has revolutionized retailing in the beauty market is Sephora. In a fickle industry like beauty, where product options are plentiful, and customers are constantly trying new brands, Sephora has managed to build a loyal customer base thanks to the perfect combination of technology and a human-centric engagement strategy.