You want to sell what you’ve got to sell, but what if that’s no longer what the market wants to buy. The Sony Walkman (for those of you under 30) was once the thing. Rich kids and cool kids had them and then everyone had them. But, that was yesterday, now it’s an iPod world.
So, the question is, are you still trying to peddle you industry’s version of the Walkman or are you willing to take a look at every aspect of your business, your products, your services, and your processes in an effort to give the market what it demands.
When times are good, people will spend their money on things they don’t really need, but right now, consumers are businesses are pretty darn focused on getting the most bang for every penny spent. Now is the time to make sure that your products align with that kind of thinking.
Let me give you an example of Walkman vs. iPod business models.
Traditional medical practice
Walkman - you make an appointment through your insurance company, mountain of paperwork, doctor makes you wait 30 minutes past appointment time, doctor pretends to listen, discounts treatment options you’ve found on Internet as a hoax, prescribes several medications to treat symptoms without any discussion about prevention diet or exercise.
iPod - same day appointment, paperwork online, massage therapy and green tea while you wait, appointment on time, discussion about overall health, encouraged to explore combination of traditional medicine and alternative therapies.
So, you’re not in the medical business - whatever industry you are in, I assure you there are standard practices that no longer mirror what the ideal customer is looking for - find out what they tolerate and blow it up.
No matter what you make, fix, ship or sell in this day and age, what you really have to offer to differentiate is the customer experience. You are in the customer exciting business and that comes about only when you can put away everything that you assume about your business and products and focus 100% of your strategic attention on understanding just exactly what the market wants today.