How can your business deliver what your customers want?

As a result, customers are looking for more, and their alternatives are more diverse than ever. But how will you be able to provide your customers what they want if you don’t know what they want? In fact, all great businesses have one thing in common: they connect emotionally with their clients. Customers are no longer passive consumers; they are collaborators, co-creators, and community members who want to interact with the businesses they buy from. They want brands that will make a long-term commitment to them.

Patagonia, for example, employs 45 full-time personnel who perform around 30,000 client repairs each year. In 2015, a group of them even went on a cross-country road trip to fix their clients’ “worn and well-loved” apparel. Because Patagonia’s objective is to manufacture high-quality apparel that can be repaired, this is the case. The brand understands how vital it is to its consumers that the garments they’ve grown accustomed to, things that have seen countless prior experiences, last.

Spending money on a maintenance team, in fact, makes sense for Patagonia’s business. Selling commodities isn’t enough to succeed in today’s market. It’s all about attracting a meaningful relationship. Customers want to spend with businesses that share their beliefs, not only those whose products they enjoy.

But it wasn’t always like this. Store-bought cakes, for example, were considered a luxury when the author was growing up in Dublin, and food giants like Mr Kipling maintained dominance through traditional advertising techniques.

Customers trusted the adverts when they were assured that Mr Kipling made “exceedingly wonderful cakes.” People didn’t question products as much back then. People nowadays, on the other hand, want to know what’s in their food and how it will effect their health.

When sales began to dwindle in 2014, Mr Kipling invested over £10 million on a new package design and more detailed nutritional information on the front of every package. To put it another way, they knew what their clients wanted.

In the year 1902, a woman named Mary Anderson came to New York for the first time. She took a streetcar tour of the city, as did most people at the time. Mary saw how the road became progressively clogged as the vehicles’ windshields became increasingly difficult to see through on a wet day.

Many people believe that windshield wipers have always been a normal component of automobiles, but they were originally developed as a result of Mary Anderson’s drive to tackle an unseen problem. Tony Fadell, the CEO of Nest, the thermostat and alarm business, originated the term. It depicts problems that we encounter on a daily basis – so frequently that they have become normalized and we no longer recognize them as issues.

Why are problems that aren’t visible so important? Because there would be no innovation without them. Consider the case of Nick Woodman, a relatively new entrepreneur. He was unable to locate a camera capable of capturing his and his pals’ surfing activities. Surprisingly, well-known brands like Sony, Canon, and Panasonic were unable to provide Nick with what he desired. It was vital to have another pro surfer in the water filming footage in order to obtain the shots he wanted.

As a result, Woodman set out to create a wearable camera that would not obstruct his surfing while still capturing high-quality angle footage of his session. Does this ring a bell? It’s possible since that’s how the GoPro came to be. GoPro’s sales grew every year after it was launched, bringing in $150,000 the first year. The company made $512 million in 2012, eight years after the first GoPro was released.

It just goes to show that identifying problems is a big part of coming up with solutions. Because creating meaningful solutions necessitates taking into account the genuine problems and constraints that individuals confront.

Okay, so your consumers’ feelings and concerns are crucial, but you’ll need to know more than that to actually innovate. You must comprehend how your clients will use your product. This entails learning about their worldview, or how they see the world based on their experiences, beliefs, and culture.

IKEA, for example, waited six years to launch its first store in South Korea because it recognized the need of first learning about the country’s culture and residents’ worldviews. In fact, each of IKEA’s 360 stores throughout the world has a distinct personality.

It’s only natural, because while a Japanese bedroom would include traditional tatami mats, an American bedroom would be larger and have more pillows on the bed. As a result, the company’s catalog is available in 67 different versions and 32 different languages, each with its own worldview!

But how can you make use of your consumers’ point of view? By crafting a compelling tale that resonates with it, a simple task if you follow the author’s story strategy model. To begin, look beyond basic demographics such as gender, age, and income. You’ll need to learn things like how your clients spend their time and what invisible challenges they face to obtain a better understanding of their viewpoint. The easiest method to accomplish this is to communicate with your customers on a daily basis. That’s not such a difficult process these days, thanks to information technology, which makes data collection a breeze!

Then you’ll have to think about how you can make your clients’ lives better and what exactly they want. This procedure is likely to yield valuable product or service concepts. The third stage is to use the information you’ve gathered to figure out what kind of product, service, and marketing approach your clients are most likely to respond to. Consider what features and capabilities are required to answer your clients’ issues. Finally, make sure you know how you want your customer to feel when they use your product or service.

Understanding clients, their perspectives, and what they expect from you is key to building a meaningful business. You can create a product that makes a difference and a captivating story around it by directly consulting clients.

Bernadette Jiwa, author of Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly, recommends gathering soft data. Every day, a slew of firms, from Google to Amazon, collect massive amounts of hard data to better understand their customers and deliver exactly what they want. Soft data, such as feedback, tales, and even body language, is extremely crucial.

Check out my related post: Are you the ideal customer for a startup product?

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