I have to admit, I am a little bit of a nerd when it comes to learning about business practices. However, after going through business school, I did get a little tired of reading the same type of business case studies that talked about “disrupters” and “innovators.”
These buzz words started losing their appeal to me. That was until I had the concept of innovation explained to me this way. ‘When it comes to customer experience, the customer doesn’t want to buy a new electric Dewalt Drill, they want a ¼ inch hole!’
The Customer Experience Is #1
This way of thinking can be a little scary if you are the one selling the drills. Take the classic case of Uber, the solution was always there via taxi cabs. Sure, it wasn’t the best experience, but it got the job done. Uber has now become the preferred channel for transportation by many, simply by creating a better channel of transportation for the end user.
If you are focused on the core desire of your customer, you may find yourself thinking of ways to serve them that might feel like you are putting yourself out of work. However, It is better to disrupt yourself than to be disrupted by your competitor. Think back to the taxi cab and Uber example. There were mobile solutions available that taxi companies had that were similar to Uber service, before Uber became, well Uber. However, taxi companies didn’t want to disrupt their current business model.
They feared the change. And Although they feared it, tried to ignore it, rejected it, they simply couldn’t avoid it.
Customers are buying products or services to do a job
Check out this short video about how customers behavior works when it comes to product selection
Today’s Competitive Market, Try To Put Yourself Out of Work
It’s a competitive marketplace today, the idea of battening down the hatches when new things start entering the marketplace simply doesn’t work.
The right focus for anyone in today’s innovative market place is how you can put yourself out of business tomorrow, so your competition doesn’t do it to you first.
Sounds kind of crazy I know! But think if Blockbuster video looked for a way to put themselves out of business early on before mail-order DVD rentals and streaming service like Netflix did it for them. Maybe the stock I own of theirs would be worth something today :/
A New Kind Of R&D
Imagine if a company created a team of innovative individuals that work in a silo form the rest of the company, with the sole focused of finding ways to innovate and disrupt “technically,” their own company. I hear you, “well that would be stupid, it could cannibalize your own customer base!” what I am talking about is a grassroots style effort to find new efficient solutions to the market’s problems. You could even consider it a kind of R&D area.
This approach could end up saving corporations millions because instead of buying out the new innovative player in the industry, the would be producing them, and owning all the technology and IP themselves.
In a nutshell, we all need to take a look at the core desire of our customer. Why do they like the product or service you offer? What is the core desire of the customer? With what you are doing today, is there a new way to offer greater value to the customer that could undermine your current business model?
We all need to innovate ourselves before someone does it for us.
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