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Trends Drive Customer Needs – Are You Listening?

Adam Hartung, Manny Teran
Value, Value proposition, Value Delivery System, Rolls-Royce, Disney, Wells Fargo, Chapek, Trends, Innovation

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How much time do you spend really thinking about customer needs?  I don’t mean how they want you to improve your product service. I mean really thinking about their needs?  What they want, what they wish, what would make their business a lot better?  Most of us don’t do this nearly enough.  We’re so busy trying to solve our own problems, trying to resolve complaints or meet an immediate request that we don’t really recognize how a changing world changes our customers and their behavior.

This podcast explores how companies like Wells Fargo focused on their Value Delivery System, pushing products and processes onto customers without understanding their real needs, creating horribly regulatory problems and required restructurings.  This podcast also delves into why customer would spend more on luxury items, including Rolls Royce cars, when a recession is imminent.  Understanding the customer is far more complicated than assumptions about “better, faster, cheaper” and the time-outdated economics based “economic man theory,” so that we can understand why customer have unmet needs that we miss when we’re too focused on implementing our Value Delivery System.  

In the end, if you don’t segment your customers by their needs you will offend some, and lose some, as this podcast explains how Disney and CEO Chapek failed to recognize the segmentation of families.  The result was confusion among employees and customers as to what “Mickey Mouse” stood for – even when everyone wanted to love Disney.  The result was Chapek’s downfall because he could not address changing needs as definitions of “family” changed amidst rapid changing sociological trends.

Thinking points:

  • How much time do you spend figuring out your customers’ needs?
  • Do you know the stresses trends are placing on your customers’ business, and how you might help them?
  • Do you clearly segment customers based upon their NEEDS?
  • Do you work so solve customers’ unmet needs – or just keep trying to sell them more stuff?