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jerryking : customer_insights   36

Business leaders are blinded by industry boundaries
April 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Rita McGrath.

Why is it so hard for executives to anticipate the major shifts that can determine the destiny of their organisations? Andy Grove called these moments “strategic inflection points”. For some, he wrote, “That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

Industry leaders would do well to focus on productive opportunities, even when they lie outside a fairly well-bounded industry. Want to survive a strategic inflection point? Stop focusing on traditional metrics and find new customer needs that your organisation can uniquely address.

Why do business leaders so often miss these shifts? Successful companies such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia did not heed the early signs of a move to app-based smartphones. Video rental chain Blockbuster failed to acquire Netflix when it had the chance, in 2000.

Senior people rise to the top by mastering management of the KPIs in that sector. This, in turn, shapes how they look at the world. The problem is a strategic inflection point can occur and render the reference points they have developed obsolete. Take traditional retail. Its key metrics have to do with limited real estate, such as sales per square metre. Introduce the internet and those measures are useless. And yet traditional systems, rewards and measures are all built around them.....British economist Edith Penrose grasped this crucial link, she asked, “What is an industry?” In her studies, executives did not confine themselves to single industries, they expanded into any market where their business might find profitable growth.

Consider the energy sector: Historically, most power generators and utilities were heavily regulated...The sector’s suppliers likewise expected steady demand and a quiet life....that business has been rocked by slow-moving shifts many players talked about, but did not act upon. The rise of distributed energy generation, the maturing of renewable technology, increased conservation and new rules have eroded the traditional model. Many failed to heed the warnings. In 2015, General Electric spent about $10bn to acquire Alstom’s power business. Finance chief Jeff Bornstein crowed at the time that it could be GE’s best acquisition ever. Blinded by traditional metrics, GE doubled down on fossil-fuel-fired turbines just as renewables were becoming cost competitive.

Consider razor blades: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand of razors had long enjoyed a competitive advantage. For decades, the company had invested in developing premium products, charged premium prices, invested heavily in marketing and used its clout to get those razors into every traditional retail outlet. A new breed of online rivals such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have upended that model, reselling outsourced razors that were “good enough” and cheaper, online via a subscription model that attracted younger, economically pressured customers...... Rather than fork out for elaborate marketing, the upstarts enlisted YouTube and Facebook influencers to get the word out.
Andy_Grove  BlackBerry  blindsided  Blockbuster  brands  cost-consciousness  customer_insights  Dollar_Shave_Club  executive_management  GE  Gillette  good_enough  Harry's  industries  industry_boundaries  inflection_points  Intel  irrelevance  KPIs  metrics  millennials  movingonup  myopic  obsolescence  out-of-the-box  P&G  power_generation  retailers  reward_systems  sales_per_square_foot  shifting_tastes  slowly_moving  warning_signs 
april 2019 by jerryking
Apple sceptics are looking at the wrong metrics
Tien Tzuo APRIL 30, 2018.

.....When Apple reports its earnings on Tuesday, analysts will be watching closely to see what it says about smartphone sales. The big tech group’s shares are down more than 7 per cent in the past 10 days amid concerns about soft demand for the latest iPhones.

But investors are focusing on the wrong numbers. Apple may be the world’s most valuable company, but its future depends on more than product sales. It must adapt to a profound shift that is changing consumer behaviour. We are witnessing the end of ownership as we know it.
.......With every day that passes Apple cares less about how many iPhones it sells, and more about how many Apple IDs its customers create and how it can make money from those IDs.
.....The end of ownership is disrupting nearly every industry: from retail and entertainment to heavy equipment and healthcare. It is a fundamental shift not just in the way we work and live and accumulate things, but in the way we value ourselves and each other.......Knowing the customers, their preferences, buying habits and how much they are willing to spend are the price of entry in this new economy. Once those relationships are forged and cemented, the data collected, the insights drawn, the real work starts — to anticipate the products and services customers will want next.
.....Volvo understands this. Its latest advertising encourages customers not to buy cars but to subscribe to them instead. The Chinese-owned company is rethinking everything from payment structure and auto design to sales centers and partnerships. Other big automakers including Ford and Porsche are also preparing for the shift away from ownership.....Amazon continues to school all of its rivals in the power of subscriber relationships. A case in point: it recently raised the price of its US Prime membership service by nearly 20 per cent, and its customers didn’t even blink.

That said, many investors are still evaluating companies based on the outdated idea that the number of products they produce will make or break them. But change is coming. The end of ownership is happening whether Wall Street wakes up or not.
Apple  Caterpillar  customer_insights  disruption  end_of_ownership  metrics  shifting_tastes  services  Shazam  subscriptions  Texture  Amazon  Amazon_Prime  Apple_IDs 
may 2018 by jerryking
Buying Competitive Advantage - YouTube
"clock speed"
privileged insights = unfair advantages
value-creation plans

Due diligence helps create privileged insight which needs to be tied to a value creation plan that helps you to achieve it.
competitive_advantage  KPMG  proprietary  insights  customer_insights  clock_speed  value_creation  due_diligence  unfair_advantages 
may 2017 by jerryking
Gearing Up for the Cloud, AT&T Tells Its Workers: Adapt, or Else - The New York Times
FEB. 13, 2016| NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

For the company to survive in this environment, Mr. Stephenson needs to retrain its 280,000 employees so they can improve their coding skills, or learn them, and make quick business decisions based on a fire hose of data coming into the company.....Learn new skills or find your career choices are very limited.

“There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop,”....People who do not spend five to 10 hours a week in online learning, he added, “will obsolete themselves with the technology.” .......By 2020, Mr. Stephenson hopes AT&T will be well into its transformation into a computing company that manages all sorts of digital things: phones, satellite television and huge volumes of data, all sorted through software managed in the cloud.

That can’t happen unless at least some of his work force is retrained to deal with the technology. It’s not a young group: The average tenure at AT&T is 12 years, or 22 years if you don’t count the people working in call centers. And many employees don’t have experience writing open-source software or casually analyzing terabytes of customer data. .......By 2020, Mr. Stephenson hopes AT&T will be well into its transformation into a computing company that manages all sorts of digital things: phones, satellite television and huge volumes of data, all sorted through software managed in the cloud.

.......“Everybody is going to go face to face with a Google, an Amazon, a Netflix,” he said. “You compete based on data, and based on customer insights you get with their permission. If we’re wrong, it won’t play well for anyone here.
Quentin_Hardy  AT&T  cloud_computing  data  retraining  reinvention  skills  self-education  virtualization  data_scientists  new_products  online_training  e-learning  customer_insights  Google  Amazon  Netflix  data_driven 
february 2016 by jerryking
Why growth hacking is a foreign concept to many business owners - The Globe and Mail
MIA PEARSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 21 2015,

Quite simply, growth hacking is about focusing your energy in the right areas, being creative and using a combination of analytical thinking, social metrics and long-term thinking to power low-cost innovation....“The most successful businesses are always trying to find scalable and repeatable methods for growth, and their marketing strategies and tactics are rooted in data and technology,”...Use data analytics Markus Frind, CEO of PlentyOfFish and a speaker at Traction Conf, describes growth hacking for him as “applying data to marketing to achieve growth, via virality.”

Mr. Frind started his company in 2003 and grew it into one of the largest online dating sites in the world. With more than 100 million users and $100-million in revenue, he knows what he’s talking about. And luckily, Google Analytics is available to everyone.

For Mr. Frind, growth hacking boils down to a combination of “SEO, split-testing and understanding the virality of the users.” He believes understanding that made it “easy to see what was working and what wasn’t.”

By understanding where traffic is coming from and why people are seeking you out, you have a stronger understanding of your consumer – and you’re incredibly short-sighted if you don’t think your consumer defines your brand. This is a significant piece of the puzzle for growing a business.
analytics  customer_insights  effectiveness  growth_hacking  innovation  long-term  marketing  repeatability  SEO  short-sightedness  small_business  virality 
june 2015 by jerryking
The Data Companies Wish They Had About Customers - WSJ
March 23, 2014 | WSJ | by Max Taves.

We asked companies what data they wish they had—and how they would use it. Here's what they said....
(A) Dining----Graze.com has a huge appetite for data. Every hour, the mail-order snack business digests 15,000 user ratings about its foods, which it uses to better understand what its customers like or dislike and to predict what else they might like to try...more data could help him understand customers' tastes even better. Among the information he wants most is data about customers' dietary habits, such as what they buy at grocery stores, as well as better information about what they look at on Graze's own site. And because the dietary needs of children change rapidly, he'd like to know if his customers have children and, if so, their ages.
(B) Energy-----Energy consumption is among its customers' main concerns, says CEO William Lynch. For instance, the company offers a product giving homeowners the real-time ability to see things like how many kilowatts it takes to heat the hot tub in Jan. Because of privacy concerns, Savant doesn't collect homeowners' energy data. But if the company knew more about customers' energy use, it could help create customized plans to conserve energy. "We could make recommendations on how to set up your thermostat to save a lot of money,
(C) Banking-----the Bank of the West would like "predictive life-event data" about its customers—like graduation, vacation or retirement plans—to create products more relevant to their financial needs...At this point, collecting that breadth of data is a logistical and regulatory challenge, requiring very different sources both inside and outside the bank.
(D) Appliances-----Whirlpool Corp.has a vast reach in American households—but wants to know more about its customers and how they actually use its products. Real-time use data could not only help shape the future designs of Whirlpool products, but also help the company predict when they're likely to fail.
(E) Healthcare----Explorys creates software for health-care companies to store, access and make sense of their data. It holds a huge trove of clinical, financial and operational information—but would like access to data about patients at home, such as their current blood-sugar and oxygen levels, weight, heart rates and respiratory health. Having access to that information could help providers predict things like hospitalizations, missed appointments and readmissions and proactively reach out to patients,
(F) Healthcare----By analyzing patient data, Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte, N.C., can predict readmission rates with 80% accuracy,
(G) Law----law firms that specialize in defense work are typically reactive, however some are working towards becoming more proactive, coveting an ability to predict lawsuits—and prevent them.How? By analyzing reams of contracts and looking for common traits and language that often lead to problems.
(H) Defense---BAE Systems PLC invests heavily in protecting itself from cyberattacks. But it says better data from its suppliers could help improve its defenses...if its suppliers get cyberattacked, its own h/w and s/w could be compromised. But "those suppliers are smaller businesses with lesser investments in their security," ...A lack of trust among suppliers, even those that aren't direct competitors, means only a small percentage of them disclose the data showing the cyberattacks on their systems. Sharing that data, he says, would strengthen the security of every product BAE makes. [BAE is expressing recognition of its vulnerability to network risk].
data  data_driven  massive_data_sets  Graze  banking  cyber_security  BAE  law_firms  Whirlpool  genomics  social_data  appliances  sense-making  predictive_analytics  dark_data  insights  customer_insights  real-time  design  failure  cyberattacks  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  network_risk  shifting_tastes  self-protection  distrust  supply_chains 
november 2014 by jerryking
Where to Look for Insight
Mohanbir Sawhney Sanjay Khosla
FROM THE NOVEMBER 2014
Innovation isn’t a department. It’s a mindset that should permeate your entire enterprise.

No matter the venue, the feedstock for innovation is insight—an imaginative understanding of an internal or external opportunity that can be tapped to improve efficiency, generate revenue, or boost engagement. Insights can be about stakeholder needs, market dynamics, or even how your company works.

Here are Seven Insight Channels
Anomalies

Examine deviations from the norm
Do you see unexpectedly high or low revenue or share in a market or segment? Surprise performance from a business process or a company unit?

Confluence

Find macro trend intersections

What key economic, behavioral, technological, or demographic trends do you see? How are they combining to create opportunities?

Frustrations

Pinpoint deficiencies in the system

Where are customer pain points for your products, services, or solutions? Which organizational processes or practices annoy you and your colleagues?

Orthodoxies

Question conventional beliefs
Are there assumptions or beliefs in your industry that go unexamined? Toxic behaviors or procedures at your company that go unchallenged?

Extremities

Exploit deviance
What can you learn from the behaviors and needs of your leading-edge or laggard customers, employees, or suppliers?

Voyages

Learn from immersion elsewhere
How are your stakeholders’ needs influenced by their sociocultural context?

Analogies

Borrow from other industries or organizations
What successful innovations do you see applied in other disciplines? Can you adapt them for your own?
customer_insights  HBR  analogies  anomalies  toxic_behaviors  trends  pain_points  assumptions  innovation  insights  conventional_wisdom  travel  laggards  copycats  dilemmas  extremes  orthodoxy  immersive  deviance  learning_journeys  leading-edge  unexpected  mindsets  frictions  opportunities  opportunistic  consumer_behavior  feedstock 
november 2014 by jerryking
Data-mining retailers prove it’s hip to use Square - The Globe and Mail
SHANE DINGMAN - TECHNOLOGY EDITOR
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 21 2014

...Forrester Research has predicted the global mobile payments market could be worth $90-billion by 2017. But Square makes very little revenue per purchase, and has long acknowledged that customer data was the real value centre in its business. The convenience and “wow factor” of turning a smartphone into a cash register is appealing to sellers, but for them, too, Square’s data tools let them identify new or returning customers, average spend and those critical customer preferences.
data  data_driven  data_mining  retailers  Square  customer_insights  payments 
august 2014 by jerryking
Aldo seizes ‘put up or shut up’ moment for shoes - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 27 2014,

Aldo announced the biggest investment in development that the company has made in its 41-year history. Over the next five years, it will spend $363-million and hire roughly 400 people in an effort to better market itself to customers who have more options than ever.

“We’re being confronted with more competition from so many different angles at this point. It’s basically a ‘put up or shut up’ moment,”....Fundamentally, Mr. Bensadoun sees this as a marketing problem.

Clothing retailers have the luxury of showing you a shoe in its proper context – in other words, as part of an outfit. One of the things Aldo is planning for its store of the future is more screens in-store (e.g. digital signage) that will help to do that, in the absence of any apparel stock.

The store could choose a top 10 looks of the week, Mr. Bensadoun suggests, which could be browsed on the screens (and on a mobile-friendly version of the same service for people on smartphones.) Those looks would specify which shoes to wear with them so that customers could pick footwear based on an overall style they identify with. It would also go the other way: for those who pick up a shoe they like, it will be possible to see how to wear it, and with what....Data are another key part of this transformation project.

Part of Aldo’s multimillion-dollar investment will be devoted to building a better data analytics team as well as hiring research and behaviour experts. This is a priority for all marketers, who face a buying public that has never been more inundated with messages – on television, on their mobile phones, tablets, and computers.

“The consumer insights and analytics department at Aldo was very much in its infancy, up until very recently,”
Aldo  shoes  retailers  e-commerce  marketing  analytics  data  Susan_Krashinsky  SHoeMint  ShoeDazzle  Zappos  customer_insights  consumer_research  contextual  seminal_moments  consumer_behavior  in-store  footwear 
july 2014 by jerryking
Why Imagination and Curiosity Matter More Than Ever - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 31, 2014 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

How can you foster imagination and curiosity? This was the subject of the 2011 book co-authored by JSB: A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. One of its key points is that learning has to evolve from something that only happens in the classroom to what that he calls connected learning, taking advantage of all the available resources, including tinkering with the system, playing games and perhaps most important, absorbing new ideas from your peers, from adjacent spaces and from other disciplines....How do you decide what problems to work on and try to solve? This second kind of innovation–which they call interpretation–is very different in nature from analysis. You are not solving a problem, but looking for a new insight about customers and the marketplace, a new idea for a product or a service, a new approach to producing and delivering them, a new business model. It requires the curiosity and imagination.
ideas  idea_generation  STEM  imagination  tacit_data  Roger_Martin  Rotman  critical_thinking  innovation  customer_insights  books  interpretation  curiosity  OPMA  organizational_culture  cross-pollination  second-order  new_businesses  learning  connected_learning  constant_change  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  worthwhile_problems  new_products  mental_dexterity  tinkerers  adjacencies 
february 2014 by jerryking
Using 'remarkable' source of data, startup builds rich customer profiles - The Globe and Mail
Ivor Tossell

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jan. 06 2014

RetailGenius, a product from a Toronto startup called Viasense, promises to algorithmically generate customer profiles based on a remarkable source of data: Anonymous location data that’s collected by big mobile carriers, from the passive pings that every single cellphone sends out as it goes through the day.

The data that RetailGenius uses is anonymized – it doesn’t have any way of knowing whose cellphone belongs to who; it simply has a gigantic plot of where thousands of cellphones were at any given time.

“We create a unique identifier between those signals, and we can see those signals move throughout the city,” says Mossab Basir, RetailGenius’ founder. “We can see those changes in your location but we never really know who it is.”

What the product does next is intriguing: Based on some 50 million pieces of location data a day, RetailGenius crunches the numbers to make inferences from where each cellphone spends its time, and generates customer profiles by the thousands.

For instance, if a given cellphone spends the hours between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. in a single area, it’s a good bet that its owner lives there. If that cellphone spends its working hours downtown five days a week, its owner is probably a daily commuter. And if it visits a given retail store once a week, a picture of its owner’s habits living and shopping habits starts to emerge.

By lumping these inferred profiles together, RetailGenius can give retailers a picture of who walks through their doors. For instance: What are the top 50 postal codes that are represented in their customers? What kind of volumes of customers are arriving at the store? How long do they stay?
data  start_ups  customer_insights  customer_profiling  RetailGenius  location_based_services  massive_data_sets  data_marketplaces  algorithms  Viasense  metadata  postal_codes  inferences  information_sources  anonymized  shopping_habits 
january 2014 by jerryking
Pulling More Meaning from Big Data
August 2013 | Retail Leader | By Ed Avis

"A.G. Lafley [Procter & Gamble's CEO] spoke of the two moments of truth," says John Ross, president of Inmar Analytics based in Winston-Salem, N.C. "The first occurs when a consumer buys a product, and the second when they use it. Much of the data today is about orchestrating and understanding those two moments. But two additional moments of truth are emerging to bookend Lafley's. One occurs when a consumer is planning to make a purchase. The other happens following use, when the consumer talks about his or her experience with the product. All of these activities leave a 'data wake' that describes how the consumer is moving down the path to purchase." (jk: going to assume that data wake = exhaust data).

Like most consumer packaged goods companies, Procter & Gamble relies on data to determine what consumers are looking for. "Consumer insight is at the core of our business model. We approach every brand we make by asking the question, 'What do people really need and want from this product? What does this mean to their lives?' Let me be clear – this is not casual observation. We employ teams of behavioral scientists, researchers, psychologists, even anthropologists to uncover true insight based on intensive research and exploration," said Marc Pritchard, P&G's global marketing and brand building officer, speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' 2012 Annual Conference....Most firms haven't advanced beyond localized analytics and don't fully capitalize on the existing data they have at hand – such as POS data, loyalty club data and social media traffic – according to a 2012 Deloitte study for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
massive_data_sets  Sobeys  grocery  supermarkets  Safeway  P&G  A.G._Lafley  Kroger  point-of-sale  loyalty_management  customer_insights  insights  CPG  exhaust_data  psychologists  psychology  anthropologists  anthropology  ethnography  behavioural_science  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  data  information_sources  moments  moments_of_truth 
december 2013 by jerryking
Finding gems of insight from customer data
Dec. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by AMANDA HAY.

"Albert Einstein – “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” It’s not enough to be able do the calculations, build the models, run the analyses, you have to be able to articulate and justify your methods simply. Clients want insights they can use to generate revenue. Understanding your client’s business is key so that you can communicate with them in meaningful terms."
customer_loyalty  customer_insights  massive_data_sets  Aimia  loyalty_management  data  analytics  Albert_Einstein  insights  Communicating_&_Connecting  storytelling 
december 2013 by jerryking
The Four Best (and Worst) Uses of Market Research| Page 2
April 9 2013 | | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine | by Taddy Hall

Experience and research suggest that CEOs of many companies look for growth in the wrong places and in the wrong ways, thereby missing opportunities and leaving them for the newbies. In a sense, though, this is good news: success lies in doing things differently, not spending more.

Specifically, there are four approaches organizations often take, none of which reliably lead to the actionable insights business leaders need:

Seek and profile large, growing and profitable markets
Solicit feedback from current best customers
Segment markets based on customer attributes, such as demographics, or based on product characteristics like “high end” vs. “low end,” “regular” vs. “light,” etc.
Benchmark progress against competitors

In each case, it is easy to see why an industry leader might have interest in the findings; however, these outputs speak primarily to aspects of the existing business or to the franchises of other established players. In other words, mapping current demand reveals little to nothing of the less-visible latent demand that is essential fuel for transformational innovation. As Henry Ford mused a hundred years ago: if he’d asked folks what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses. Echoing Ford, Steve Jobs noted that consumers can’t describe what they’ve never experienced.
market_research  disruption  Clayton_Christensen  high-end  latent  insights  growth  opportunities  transformational  customer_insights  innovation  large_markets  market_segmentation  customer_risk  actionable_information  hidden  Henry_Ford  Steve_Jobs  market_share  static  dynamic  segmentation  missed_opportunities  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  unarticulated_desires 
april 2013 by jerryking
Data Firm StellaService Raises Funds - WSJ.com
February 27, 2013 | WSJ | By DANA MATTIOLI.

StellaService Inc., a startup that measures customer satisfaction with online shopping, raised a $15 million round of funding to help broaden the amount of data it collects about retailers....The New York based company collects data on thousands of retailers, including Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +1.25% and Macy's Inc., using a network of mystery shoppers. It then ranks the retailers based on metrics including shipping speed, packaging and ease of returns.
retailers  data  funding  customer_experience  customer_service  customer_feedback  customer_insights  metrics 
february 2013 by jerryking
Surprise business result? Explore whether it is a hidden opportunity
June 18, 2007 | G&M pg. B8 | George Stalk Jr.

What does it take to capitalize on anomalies systematically?

For starters, you need to have metrics and information systems that are sufficiently refined to identify anomalies in the first place. Knowing the average margins and market share isn’t enough; look at the entire range of outcomes—across customers, geographies, products, and the like. This allows you to surface out-of-the-ordinary results for closer inspection.

The next step is to separate wheat from chaff: those anomalies that signal a potential business opportunity from those that are merely one-time events. The key is to examine the pattern of unusual performance over time. The customer who consistently buys high volumes or the market that outperforms the average year after year are, by definition, not random. Is there an underlying cause that can be identified and then replicated elsewhere?

Finally, you need to understand the precise mechanisms that animate the anomalies you identify. Why is the unusual pattern of performance happening? What specific features of the product or the local environment or the customer experience are bringing it about? Don’t accept the usual first-order explanations. It’s not enough to know that a particular customer has been loyal for years; find out precisely why.

It’s up to senior management to create the forum for asking why and to persist until the question is answered with genuine insight.
metrics  George_Stalk_Jr.  BCG  anomalies  growth  opportunities  customer_insights  surprises  systematic_approaches  quizzes  ratios  pattern_recognition  insights  questions  first-order  second-order  OPMA  Waudware  curiosity  new_businesses  one-time_events  signals  noise  overlooked_opportunities  latent  hidden  averages  information_systems  assessments_&_evaluations  randomness  5_W’s 
january 2013 by jerryking
Know where your customers are headed - and get there first
Copyright 2012 Farm Management Canada By Glenn Cheater

It’s easy to say you believe in that all-important first principle of marketing – Know Your Customer – but it’s a lot harder to put in practice: Customers are definitely fickle creatures.

But understanding customers is critical to the success of Bay Growers Co-operative in Clarksburg in the heart of Ontario’s Georgian Bay apple country. It started up a dozen years ago when 22 local growers jointly built a storage facility, but its watershed moment came when it zeroed in on what its customers – grocery retailers – were doing.

“We could see the writing on the wall,” says co-op president John Ardiel. “The retail business was consolidating. There were fewer and fewer retailers, and the next logical step was that there would be fewer and fewer suppliers.
apples  Ontario  co-operatives  farming  agriculture  customer_insights  first_principle  marketing  know_your_audience  turning_points  retailers  supply_chains  grocery  consolidation  know_your_customer 
august 2012 by jerryking
CCI at Yale SOM |
Center for Customer Insights
at the Yale School of Management

The Center for Customer Insights (YCCI) is dedicated to helping leaders in business and society develop superior insights into customer mindset and behavior.
Yale  customer_experience  customer_insights  insights 
august 2012 by jerryking
Go Ahead, Take a Risk
June 22, 2004 | WSJ | By ADRIAN SLYWOTSKY

What are the risks you should be taking but aren't? Most managers treat risk as an unwanted byproduct of the business. They think narrowly of financial, operating, and hazard risks, such as currency fluctuations, employee fraud, and earthquakes. And they defend themselves through practices like hedging, internal controls, and insurance.

But disruptive strategic risks can be a much larger source of value destruction for a firm. I looked back to the bull market of the 1990s to analyze movements of the Fortune 1000 stocks; even then, before the market collapsed, 10% of stocks lost over one-quarter of their value in a single month, primarily because of strategic-risk events.

The most successful companies do not try to simply minimize strategic risk; they embrace such risk by making prudent bets in their growth-oriented strategies. Strategic risks include not just the obvious, high-probability events that a new ad campaign or new product launch will fail, but other less-obvious risks as well: Customers' priorities will change quickly -- as when baby-boomer parents quickly migrated from station wagons to minivans, catching most automakers off guard. New technology will overtake your product -- as mobile telephony has stolen market share from fixed-line voice. A one-of-a-kind competitor will render your business model obsolete -- as the Wal-Mart tidal wave has washed over mid-range department stores.

Although insurance and hedging can't address strategic risks, there are an array of countermeasures that can, including these three:
1) Smart sequencing for new growth initiatives. Look for incumbents that are moving deliberately, leveraging existing assets and customer relationships to gain the experience, knowledge, and reputation necessary to take the next step with confidence.
2) Proprietary information to reduce the risk of each new initiative. Gather and generate proprietary information that produces a depth of insight into the customer's needs and activities that traditional suppliers cannot match. This will make you a supplier of choice, reducing bidding volatility and allow you to plan with greater certainty.
3) Double betting to minimize the risk of obsolescence. When several versions of a new technology are competing to become the standard, it's impossible to predict which will prevail. So smart managers make double bets. Betting on both Windows and OS/2 positioned Microsoft to be the winner, regardless of which operating system prevailed.

Traditional risk management seeks to contain losses. But that's just one-half of the growth equation. By embracing strategic risk, Cardinal, JCI, and other risk-savvy companies have raised their growth potential in addition to reducing their economic volatility. That's important at a time when aggregate market growth is sluggish: The biggest risk of all is not to take the right growth risks for the business.
leaps_of_faith  Adrian_J._Slywotzky  risk-taking  proprietary  sequencing  scuttlebutt  information  growth  strategic_thinking  Mercer  Oliver_Wyman  product_launches  nonpublic  low_growth  slow_growth  insights  customer_insights  value_destruction  disruption  insurance  new_products  obsolescence  countermeasures  volatility  customer_risk  one-of-a-kind  hedging  overly_cautious  risk-aversion  de-risking  double_betting  risk-management  bull_markets  customer_relationships  dark_data  risk-savvy  internal_controls  financial_risk  risks 
june 2012 by jerryking
Bubbling Up
January 2005 | Worth | Sergio Zyman.

We changed the formula we had been using for 100 years to give our customers what we thought they wanted: New Coke. We orchestrated a huge launch, received abundant media coverage and were delighted with ourselves until the sales figures rolled in. Within weeks. we realized that we had blundered. Sales tanked and the media turned against us. Seventy-seven days New Coke was born. We made the second-hardest decision in company history: We pulled the plug. What went wrong? The answer was embarrassingly simple: We did not know enough about our customers. We did not even know what motivated them to buy Coke in the first place. Based on that, we fell into the trap of imagining that innovation—abandoning our existing product for a new one would cure our ills. After the debacle, we reached out to consumers, and found that they wanted more than taste when they made purchase. Drinking Coke enabled them to tap into the Coca-Cola experience, to be part of Coke's history and to feel the continuity and stability of the brand. Instead of innovating. we should have renovated. Instead of making a product and hoping people would buy it, we should have asked customers what they wanted and given it to them. As soon as we started listening to them, consumers respondcd, increasing our sales 9 billion to 15 billion cases a year.
contra-innovation  Coca-Cola  Pepsi  market_research  marketing  renovations  growth  CMOs  product_launches  kill_rates  brands  customer_expectations  customer_insights  culling  mistakes  beverages  innovations 
may 2012 by jerryking
The games customers play
October 6, 2011 | Report on Small Business | Omar El Akkad.
Gamification can make your brand appealing and addictive

Gamification refers to a strategy whereby interactions with a brand are made more appealing and addictive to consumers by incorporating tricks from the gaming world, such as high-score tables and achievement badges. Are such "achievements" almost completely worthless in the real world? Yes. Do consumers become mindlessly addicted to them anyway? Yes.

2. Think of gamification as a way of creating an Aeroplan-like loyalty program at a tiny fraction of the cost. Many businesses implement loyalty programs such as "get the 10th coffee free" cards. But Zichermann says free stuff is actually at the bottom of the list of what customers want. He uses the acronym SAPS: status, access, power, stuff. Those are the things loyal customers want, in that order. As such, lunch with the owner or a 15-minute head start on a sale for your best customers might be far more effective than a free coffee.

3. Figure out where your product fits into your customers' lives and help make that experience more meaningful.
in_the_real_world  games  Omar_el_Akkad  branding  gamification  loyalty_management  perks  customer_loyalty  customer_insights  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  Aeroplan  Aimia  brands 
october 2011 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: The Scarcity Shortage
Aug. 27, 2007 | Seth Godin.

Scarcity has a lot to do with value. Scarcity is the cornerstone of our economy. The best way to make a profit is by trading in something that's scarce.

How to deal with the shortage of scarcity? Well, the worst strategy is whining--about copyright laws/fair trade/how hard you've worked. etc. Start by acknowledging that most of the profit from your business is going to disappear soon. Unless you have a significant cost adv. (e.g. Amazon's or Wal-Mart's), someone with nothing to lose is going to offer a similar product for less $.....So what's scarce now? Respect. Honesty. Good judgment. L.T. relationships that lead to trust. None of these things guarantee loyalty in the face of cut-rate competition, though. So I'll add: an insanely low-cost structure based on outsourcing everything except your company's insight into what your customers really want to buy. If the work is boring, let someone else do it, faster & cheaper than you ever could. If your products are boring, kill them before your competition does. Ultimately,
what's scarce is that kind of courage--which is exactly what you can
bring to the market.
scarcity  Seth_Godin  customer_loyalty  respect  judgment  honesty  whining  trustworthiness  inspiration  entrepreneurship  proprietary  cost-structure  relationships  kill_rates  courage  customer_insights  insights  competitive_advantage  low-cost 
october 2010 by jerryking
What Knockoffs Can Teach Companies About Chinese Markets | Co.Design
Sep 8, 2010 | Fast Company | by Makiko Taniguchi & Eddie
Wu. Fakes and knockoffs often express unmet desires that big firms miss.
Learn from them...Countries, from the U.S. to Japan, regularly accuse
China of copying designs. Indeed,MNCs in these countries spend an
inordinate amount of time and money trying to prevent their products
from being copied. But Shanzhai -- "copycat" design --represents a vast
business opportunity. Shanzhai is an open platform for grassroots
innovation: Apple, Nokia, and Samsung smartphones get copied, but the
knockoffs adapt the original designs in ways that appeal to Chinese
customers. E.g., Shanzhai designers might add a flashlight, key in areas
with unstable electricity. The effect is to make products accessible to
common folks in terms of price, aesthetics, values, and needs. Shanzhai
designs are an opportunity for international companies to introduce
Chinese consumers to their brands, and then observe how local Chinese
culture adapts their offerings.
counterfeits  China  customer_insights  discoveries  pattern_recognition  ideo  opportunities  innovation  design  adaptability  patterns  copycats  unarticulated_desires  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  emerging_markets  brands  multinationals  aesthetics  knockoffs  creative_appropriation  cost-consciousness  low-income  affordability 
september 2010 by jerryking
Googling Growth - WSJ.com
APRIL 9, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by CHRIS ZOOK. Rapid
shifts in markets and technologies are forcing companies of all sorts to
change direction faster than ever. Many management teams are tempted
by "big bang" solutions: dramatic, transformative mergers or aggressive
leaps into sexy new markets. The success rate for major, life-changing
mergers is only about one in 10. For most companies, reinvention of a
core business doesn't have to involve such high levels of risk. The
solution lies in mining hidden assets -- assets already possessed but
not being tapped for maximum growth potential.
One way to open management's eyes to hidden assets is to identify the
richest hunting grounds, usually camouflaged as hidden business
platforms, untapped customer insights, and underused capabilities.
accelerated_lifecycles  Apple  assets  Bain  big_bang  business_models  Chris_Zook  core_businesses  customer_insights  GE  growth  hidden  high-risk  iPODs  latent  life-changing  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  moonshots  Nestlé  Novozymes  rapid_change  reinvention  resource_management  Samsung  success_rates  transformational  underutilization 
february 2010 by jerryking
It's the Purpose Brand, Stupid - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 29, 2005 | Wall Street Journal | by CLAYTON M.
CHRISTENSEN, SCOTT COOK and TADDY HALL. Carving up markets by product,
price point or customer type often causes marketers to deliver products
overloaded with unwanted features or designed to improve on a product or
appeal to a demographic profile -- but not necessarily real customers.
the marketer's fundamental task is not so much to understand the
customer as it is to understand what jobs customers need to do -- and
build products that serve those specific purposes.
Clayton_Christensen  disruption  product_innovation  product_launches  innovation  market_segmentation  Marriott  failure  Coca-Cola  customer_insights  feature_overload  purpose  contextual  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  brand_purpose 
january 2010 by jerryking
Switch to the low-income customer
14-Nov-2005 | Financial Times | By Jeremy Grant. "When AG
Lafley came in [in 2000] and said, 'We're going to serve the world's
consumers', that led us to say, 'We don't have the product strategy, the
cost structure, to be effective in serving lower income consumers'.
"What's happened in the last five years has been one of the most
dramatic transformations I've seen in my career. We now have all of our
functions focused on that," says Mr Daley. P&G, the world's largest
consumer goods company, devotes about 30 %of its $1.9bn in annual
research and development spending to low-income markets, a 50 % increase
from 5 yrs. ago. Consumer research: spend time in consumers' homes to
gain insights into daily habits; Cost innovation: use proprietary
technology to design low-income products; Innovation productivity: use
"matchmakers" such as InnoCentive; Manufacturing efficiency: cut mfg.
costs by developing a network of suppliers in China, Brazil, Vietnam and
India.
P&G  BRIC  market_research  consumer_research  primary_field_research  customer_insights  innovation  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  A.G._Lafley  InnoCentive  supply_chains  China  Brazil  Vietnam  India  observations  insights  cost-structure  jugaad  proprietary  behavioural  cost-cutting  match-making  CPG  low-income 
december 2009 by jerryking
How to sell innovation services?
23 August 2005 | CPH127 | by Magnus Christensson.It is through
looking at the patterns in customers’ stories that we can
provide our clients with a startlingly different and enormously useful
picture of the market and its direction — the most valuable input into
an innovation strategy that anyone can offer. If this (customer
research, future scenario) is our point of entry (and we deliver) we
might be able to overcome the first three issues and get the trust
needed to engage in further collaboration.
innovation  selling  marketing  howto  pattern_recognition  JCK  insights  customer_insights  storytelling 
june 2009 by jerryking
Political Device Goes Corporate - WSJ.com
MAY 21, 2007 | Wall street Journal | by JOHN D. MCKINNON.

Journal of Political Marketing.

Political operatives who perfected political "microtargeting," a system
for squeezing votes from neglected segments of the electorate, based
largely on reams of data about such things as voter demographics and
personal-spending habits--are taking their mastery of sophisticated new
campaign techniques into the corporate world. Particularly useful in
helping corporations focus on potential customers' core feelings about
buying a product or service.
microtrends  microtargeting  demographics  competingonanalytics  data_mining  political_campaigns  customer_insights  customer_experience  behavioural_targeting  data 
april 2009 by jerryking
Finding opportunities with deep customer 'discovery'
February 23, 2009 G&M column by GEORGE STALK JR.

One approach that works for customer-supplier partnerships is something we call "discovery," which goes beyond cost reduction tactics to find opportunities for increasing revenues and improving entire processes....The discovery process goes behind traditional contact points to explore issues that affect the hand-offs, such as consumer usage, retail merchandising, promotional effectiveness and pricing.

By using fact-based analysis, information technology and strong project management, discovery has transformed purchasing department contacts into broader, deeper relationships, helped suppliers and customers create new value in their businesses, and led to dramatically more innovative products and services.
opportunities  business_development  George_Stalk_Jr.  discoveries  partnerships  process_improvements  IT  LBMA  OPMA  customer_insights  cost-cutting  BCG  merchandising  pricing  handoffs  purchasing  relationships  new_products 
february 2009 by jerryking
Capital C: Why can't Canada get it in gear?
Jennifer Wells interview with Tony Chapman of Capital C.

"I look at Canada and I think, why aren't we doing global brands here? We have a multicultural society, we are one of the earliest adopters of new technologies in the world. We have so many things going for us, but no one's come up with a strategy that says, how do we become a superpower in creativity?"
Capital C has proved a creative power in the advertising world. That unbranded "Wig-out" viral video – the one in which a bride goes nuts over hair unhappiness – was revealed to be the work of Capital C for Sunsilk shampoo. The agency counts Frito Lay Canada among its client base, and Dove among its brands.
"We won the global retail strategy for Dove worldwide two weeks ago," Mr. Chapman says. "The retail footprint for Dove around the world will now be coming out of Capital C. That's the kind of work we need to get."
By "we" he doesn't mean his own shop, but the agency world in Canada.
"Could you imagine if we had, for example, the ability to do predictive modelling against every marketplace in the world?" In other words if Canada sold itself as the world's test market, with the capability of measuring the relative impact of a product in marketplaces from Shanghai to Mumbai to London.
"A big part of the future of creativity is understanding the consumer – how they think, feel and behave," he says.
"I want every agency in Canada and every head office in Canada to have access to the technology and tools to invent, create, test, prototype, validate and implement. … If we're the test market for validating brands, head offices around the world are going to send their best people to Canada."
He envisages university alliances and the development of a student population where the learning is more about entrepreneurship and less about the standard marketing precepts of product, place and promotion.
Tony_Chapman  branding  innovators  Jennifer_Wells  design  national_identity  predictive_modeling  thought_leadership  advertising_agencies  Frito_Lay  Bolthouse_Farms  global_champions  brands  multiculturalism  advertising  creativity  test_marketing  innovation  Capital_C  cultural_creativity  Canada  customer_insights  consumer_research  head_offices 
january 2009 by jerryking

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