Most companies define themselves by the products and services they offer when faced with this question. From the outside, this may sound like the best and most reasonable answer, but in reality, taking this approach narrows your focus and limits your company’s competitive nature.
Companies that have used this product-based approach have been said to suffer from marketing myopia. However, this can be overcome by taking a different approach, from the perspective of what customers want. This is done by taking the customers input and opinions into consideration.
Product-oriented businesses more than often look for ways to build a better mousetrap. The reason being if they can come up with the best product their customers will find their way back to their door. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as some products may be the best but the prices are unattractive to all consumers.
On the other hand, using a marketing approach will change your focus to the customers and future prospects who build up the marketplace. After understanding customers then you can be able to design your products and services to satisfy their needs.
Success in Understanding Your Customers
Today’s most successful retailers no longer define themselves not by their products but by what they can provide for their customers. Focusing on competencies a company can invest in innovative solutions to meet its customer’s unique needs.
Organizations need to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate what business they are in, not using the product-based approach but the customer evaluation approach.
Examples of some of these industries that use the product-based approach are the oil and railway industries. The slim profit margins have had to make these industries to reevaluate what business they really are in. They usually defined themselves as being in the gasoline and railway industry. But they had to reevaluate their definitions.
The oil industry although they still define themselves using gasoline products, today use the sale of food and convenience items. This has proven to attract more customers.
The railway industry usually defined themselves as being in the railroad business, this allowed trucking, airline and automotive companies steal away their valuable customers. However, some railway companies embraced the concept of transportation and have expanded into even more broader services including, railway, airline and trucking services.
Regardless of the industry, your business is categorized in, we can learn how to embrace this customer approach of marketing to always stay relevant and ahead of the competition.