The consumer is more powerful than ever before.
That’s why you have to question, whether customer loyalty really exists? The bottom line is, loyalty is not easily earned.
A small group of your customers may be loyal to your brand. However, the average consumer, however, isn’t loyal to your brand. Most customers will go wherever they receive the most convenience and best prices.
For example, the hotel industry has taken a few giant blows in recent years. Airbnb has stolen so many customers away because they have made the act of supplying great accommodation at competitive prices, easy and accessible.
Anyone can search for an Airbnb while on holiday or during travels, and grab a place to stay for the night. Hotels will usually want you to book yourself in for a set amount of days. Airbnb has disrupted this process, showing how archaic it is to force customers to stay with you.
In other words, disruptive businesses have improved their respective markets; at least in the eyes of customers.
More Options, More Profits
The most successful brands offer convenience and the options-the key is to disrupt the status quo.
- Why on earth should people go to the cinema, when they have Netflix at home?
- Why should people drive to fast-food restaurants when they can just order out?
- Why should anyone buy a landline phone, when smartphones are so much cheaper and more useful?
Technologies and new concepts of old ideas have disrupted and even destroyed past norms. Mobile technology has advanced from being just text and calls to web surfing, watching videos, playing games, face-timing, sending emails, GPS navigation and reading live news reports to name a few. This means that prices are going to go up.
Once upon a time, people bought a mobile because it was cheaper than a landline or it gave them more convenience. Nowadays, consumers want smartphones because they can multitask, acts as small computers and make their lives more enjoyable. Hence why now some of the best smartphones are sold in excess of $1,000. Disruptive technologies always provide more options to customers. More options, more profits!
Can You Do it Better?
Every modern company that has disrupted their industry and essentially taken over, has come from a sat-back position. The founders of those businesses have taken the time to spot where the gap in the market is. They haven’t entered the industry from a completely biased standpoint.
In other words, they have only created their business to fill the void. They haven’t created a business from an idea that they have always had. The only reason their business exists is to capitalize on where other businesses fall short. That’s perhaps why companies like WeWork have collapsed so quickly. It’s very easy to become a flash in the pan when you approach an industry shortfall in this way. The question is, how could you do better?
Having a working business model like the aforementioned Airbnb is the way to approach the gap in a market. A business model that is focussed on exploiting the gap further and further is the most solid foundation of your business plan. Airbnb was founded in 2008 when the smartphone age just began. They have now developed their own app for both iOS and Android devices.
They’ve also got their own social media accounts and regularly market their services in different ways. You might think this is normal, but they were one of the first companies to realize the effectiveness of having your own channel for customers and appealing to worldwide consumers via social media. In essence, roll with the punches of new technologies to break away further from your competition. Once you’re ahead, don’t take your foot off the ga
Keep Your Eye on Technology
Speaking of technology, businesses that can incorporate not just the latest software, but the latest methods on how to use that software, will get one step ahead of the curve. Here are just a few notable ways, how technology helps you build a competitive business. You can find and retain talent.
Streamlining processes for your customers, you improve their satisfaction and familiarity with your products and services. Staff also, are allowed to work harder and quicker, due to far fewer software hiccups.
New technologies crucially allow your business to exist in the most disruptive form to your industry. Netflix pounced on streaming technology and thus, replaced its DVD mailing service with an on-demand streaming service. Jaguar began developing its own electric motor and battery technology, now they have become Britain’s foremost all-electric car company.
Samsung was one of the first to realize Android was far more flexible than iOS, while others began to develop their own iOS smartphones. Now, they are the top dog, with more phones being sold in Android than iOS across the industry. Keep an eye out for new technologies, you never know what new software or tech could be your stepladder to industry dominance.
If you see a small company, performing far better than the average company would, or if you see a technology that seems to be evolutionary at an industry exhibition, start paying attention to it. You don’t need to invest in it but you should begin following its development journey. Follow their social media, track the news articles on the technology and watch the interviews the company leaders do.
You never know when you might feel it’s the right time to jump in and start using the tech or partner with the company on your project. Never turn up your nose at disruption in your industry. It’s always a good thing for businesses to be reminded they need to evolve through the development of better technologies and ideas.
This article originally appeared on Your Money Geek.