Bill Gates is reputed to have said, “When your customer buys from the competition, you lose twice: you don’t get the money and they do.” That’s so true! It diminishes your ability to be successful and increases their ability to dominate the market.
The market votes with money. Customer favorites grow their market share, those that don’t deliver the goods fail. Any organization that leads their market is the temporary winner. The business race is run every day and the finish line moves every day. The rules of the game change at the whim of consumers, at the behest of the news, and on the activity of competitors. Customer priorities can shift in a second leaving once vaunted products gasping for breath.
For example, Conde Nast recently chose to close down a foodie institution, Gourmet Magazine, after nearly 70 years of publication. In the face of growing popularity of celebrity chefs and Food Network, the grand dame of the gourmand couldn’t keep up, with advertising revenues at half of where they were a year before.
Just because you’ve been successful is no longer any shred of guarantee that you’ll remain successful because customers keep changing the definition of success. The point is that your customers each have a definition of success. For some it’s just making it to retirement without any hassles or mess. To others, it’s growing their career (what ever that means in today’s world). To others, it’s just making a paycheck until they win the lottery. To some, it’s doing what they’re passionate about, whether at home, at work, or at play.
When you help your customer be successful, no matter how they define it, you have become successful as an organization, for now. When you track how they measure success, and keep making them successful, you have become CompetitionProof.