Reinvent Your Offering to Deliver “Value”

Brands are evolving the way they engage customer’s to address some key changes to the market place.

  • new competition from online and discount retailers
  • new models for consumption of entertainment content, shifting from physical assets to virtual
  • mass consumer adoption of technology – by a larger set of the population
  • changes to the way we shop and engage – new devices and social media allow us to participate

These factors have a shift in what consumers expect from organizations, or perhaps more accurately what will make them loyal. Causing a need to move to the idea that brands need to create their own ecosystem. Moving from from the idea that physical products are enough to creating combinations of products and digital services that will enable the growth that an organization desires.

We can look at the evolution and resulting added expectations for what it takes to win and retain customers today. We have moved from it being enough to differentiate based on product features (we more meat on our hamburger) to emotional connections (a place to have a meal with your son after to the ball game) to experiences (my doll and I can have tea together and buy matching outfits) to delivering value (know me personally, add meaning to my daily life, be a good corporate citizen, let me engage with you)

Today’s customers expect:

  • That you understand their values, stand for ones they believe in and enable them to engage
  • Products and services (digital) that add value to their lives
  • Information and tools to aid them
  • Increased demand for transparency in everything you do

All these changes necessitate a shift in thinking about how to provide the customers with an experience that reinforces the brand promise. It requires a deep understanding of customer segments and the ability to provide relevant offerings.

Expanding beyond sourcing and merchandising the latest products to surrounding them with digital services imbedded in the customers life. Enable a feeling of personalization based on my tastes or what you know about me. Some great examples include the Nationwide Insurance app, Apple iTunes, and Nike’s Running Platform Nike+. It’s less about the product (and product advertising) and more about providing tools and support, about being an advocate in my life. And once you have my history of data I am not likely to switch.