A new product isn’t the only thing that can create market change. It is often the small things, regardless of whether they are directly related to the product or customer experience, that create large changes. This blog entry will explain how.
What governs customer needs?
What comes first? Is it a market change that creates a new customer experience, or the customer experience that creates a change in the market? The question is actually sort of the same thing as trying to work out if the chicken or the egg came first – but the answer is that both parts can have a significant impact. Yet, you as a company don’t want to be a spectator – you obviously want to be driving the change.
Find the underlying need that creates change
So, what is it that drives this change? It’s not always about finding a customer frustration, but also about finding something that the consumer has not viewed as a problem until presented with an alternative solution. Perhaps it’s linked to availability, user experience or service?
Change does not solely spring from technical solutions or regulatory changes, but is almost always based on an underlying need. Your job is to put your finger on what that is. You will find the answer by understanding what drives your target audience at a deeper level. You can do this through tests, in-depth interviews, and user analyses, but also by listening to the organisation and understanding major consumer trends.
Red Bull example
One example we’ve previously mentioned and come back to is Red Bull. The energy drink is in itself not unique and variations come in many different sizes, names, flavours and appearances – but all have the same function. This is where Red Bull have successfully differentiated themselves by creating a unique customer experience, strongly linked to their specific brand. Say the words ‘energy drink’ and most people will think of Red Bull. They probably can also explain the feeling of buying, drinking and working after drinking a Red Bull, and perhaps they also have a story to tell, directly linked to an occasion when they drank the drink. This is a strong customer experience – that changed a market.
Automotive industry example
A few years ago, there was nothing about the environmental movement linked to the car industry. Now? Everyone’s talking about it. Here we’ve seen a change that has left its mark on an entire industry, including sub-contractors. And the automotive industry is not unique in this respect. How we travel, consume and live our lives is in constant change, and impacts our surroundings on a global level. Great changes will happen in future in this industry and the question is– which brand will drive the next cycle of change?