008 | What business are you really in? Hint, it’s not about your product or service
Why you’ve got to listen to this episode:
In this episode, I talk about why it’s so important to answer the question “What business are you really in?”. It’s a simple question that almost seems absurd to ask. After all it’s obvious what business you’re in, right? Well, it’s obvious if you answer with what you do, which evolves around your product or service. But what you do is not, or should not be the business you’re really in. Sounds confusing? Listen in to hear about many examples of once thriving organizations that no longer exist because they didn’t answer this question properly.
The importance of answering this question is that once you find the answer, you’re more likely to survive the industry disruptions and customer trends, and you’re able to focus your attention, resources and strategies into what really matters to your audience. Which is not your product or service.
Who can benefit from listening in:
If you’re a small business or non-profit, this episode will give you some thought provoking ideas and examples on the decision-making process and criteria of consumers/audiences.
If you’re trying to stand out and attract more customers or donors, it’s likely that what you’re communicating as your competitive advantage is really not what your audience places value on.
Key takeaways from this episode:
- Most organizations are product or service oriented instead of customer oriented.
- Your customers are not interested in what you do, what they want is an assurance that you’ll enable them to achieve what they want.
- It’s very difficult for organizations to see beyond their products and services because those products and services are likely what made you successful to being with. They are the solution to a problem, but they are not your purpose, they are not the criteria for purchasing decisions or your long term success.
Links to resources mentioned in this episode
- Theodore Levitt
- “Marketing Myopia” article by Theodore Levitt
- ATB Financial
- FIASCO Gelato
- Accessible Housing
- Calgary Chamber of Commerce
- Sony walkman
- Motorola phone
This episode includes a downloadable .pdf with some questions to help you answer the question “What business are you really in?”
Thanks for listening
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