Successful disrupters are those capable of detecting and meeting the needs of customers emerging before the bigger competitors.
We tend to believe that technology is always present after disruption, as if this were the only switch capable of generating it. However, the marketing professor, Thales S. Teixeira, author of the book Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption, has another vision of things: successful disrupters are those capable of detecting and meeting the needs of customers emerging before the bigger competitors.
This can be applied to different industries, and has actually marked the rise and fall of large companies, some considered masters and lords in their respective market niches. MySpace, for example, who would imagine that a giant of that size could be relegated and ostracized after so many years of being the first social network worldwide? Mark Zuckerberg understood that users or customers needed something different. Ergo, identified a need before the competition, and attended it.
The same with Amazon, a company whose success has been based, more than technology, on identifying specific needs of its users. Each new product and value-added service generated by Amazon is based on an identified need. Technology does not generate disruption, but becomes a tool to make it possible.
In an interview with the Harvard Business School, Professor Teixeira explains that the clients he analyzed, including those of giants such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, have changing needs and desires, "and therefore their behavior is constantly changing."
He also believes that it is a mistake for many companies to become obsessed with their direct competitors, because they have "few competitors, so it is easy to see what they are doing and emulate or respond." When Coca Cola launches a new product or reduces prices, it is easy for Pepsi to identify, follow and / or copy it. "
On the contrary, it is much more difficult to understand clients, because "there are millions of them spread around the world, and it is difficult to see what they are doing and understand why they are doing what they are doing". A titanic task, without a doubt.
However, to facilitate this work, the professor discovered in his research that between 90 and 97 percent of average consumer spending is concentrated in seven categories: where they live, what they eat, what they wear, how they are mobilized, how they are cured, how they are educated and how they are entertained.
According to Teixeira, when consumers change their behavior, the first signs can be seen in one of these seven categories and the industries that become of them, and for greater complexity they multiply rapidly.
In that sense, executives and managers must understand that the rules of the game have changed. Every day thousands of new companies come to the market, and compete with much less resources with large companies, but with greater agility to act on changes in user behavior.
As Professor Teixeira rightly points out, it is necessary to understand that the disruption is not being caused by markets, nor by emerging companies, nor by technology. The disruption is being caused by consumers Are we prepared to respond to these changes?
Very few companies are ... When I started to try to change the culture of the company, in which I worked for so many years, to one focused on the client, I found comments, such as, "we are already doing it", "You came in place", "why do you want to go back to something we already have in DNA", etc. etc. but the reality was that we were far from it. We were completely wrong. Everything we did was based on what we thought the client needed, but not where the shoe really hurt him ... When we started trying to understand the real needs of our customers, even in many cases when they had not even identified them, the company started having a second spring drastically improving its results. That was the moment, in which technologies such as Quantex and other promising developments arose, which unfortunately have now been forgotten, and the culture of customer focus has been truncated ...
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