2 April, 2011

What Customers Want is Changing – are you changing too?

Takeaways for small and local business owners:

    • Commoditisation is inevitable in any market as the market matures. This drives the competition to be based on price.
    • To survive & thrive into the future, your small business needs a new level of economic value.
    • Over the last 20 years, we’re shifting to an experience economy (think Disney, theme restaurants, drinking wine in the vineyard)
    • Authenticity is becoming the new consumer sensitivity. Customers must perceive your offerings as authentic.
    • There are two directions of authenticity – towards yourself and to others.
    • Which quadrant does your small business fit into?
      Is what it says it is Real  Fake Real  Real
      Is NOT what it says it is Fake  Fake Fake  Real
      Is NOT true to itself Is true to itself
    • The easiest way to fail at is true to itself is not to understand your heritage – not knowing who you are as a small business. What you have done in the past does constrain what you do in the future. Customers quickly distrust companies they know as one thing that tries to become something different.
    • The easiest way to fail at is what it says it is – to advertise yourself as something you’re not.
    • The best way to be is what it says it is – to provide places for people to experience who you are.

Three Rules of Authenticity for local and small businesses:

      1. Don’t say you’re authentic unless you really are
      2. It’s easier to be authentic if you don’t say you’re authentic
      3. If you say you’re authentic, you better be authentic

And this above all, to thine own self be true
And it must follow as night the day
Thou canst not then be false to any man…
– Shakespeare