Recent times with technology as a disruptor we have seen many businesses become a part of our lives that didn’t exist a decade ago. It seems like overnight they sneaked into our worlds and now we can’t even imagine life without them. So are the new businesses killing the old world traditional ones? But to think of it…
Amazon did not kill the retail industry. It did it to itself with bad customer service.
Netflix did not kill Blockbuster. They did it to themselves with ridiculous late fees.
Uber did not kill the taxi business. They did it to themselves with limited the number of taxis and fare control.
Apple did not kill the music industry. It did it to itself by forcing people to buy full-length albums.
Airbnb did not kill the hotel industry. It did it to itself with limited availability and pricing options.
Technology by itself is not the real disruptor.
Being non-customer centric is the biggest threat to any business…
“A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.” this quote from Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin so resonates with what is happening. If instead of solving a problem the business itself becomes a part of the problem its time to kill it and for sure someone will. Some businesses have proactively invested in building new business models even with the threat of cannibalising their own current revenue streams a good example would be Adobe who has had a comeback by adopting the SaaS model. While on the other hand Kodak literally went bankrupt trying to save their photo paper business and not adopting the digital camera when we as customers were struggling with 36 prints after each roll clicked.
While focussing on the short-term the current business may keep you busy, however if the customers are constantly asking you to be flexible and are seeking personalization or customisation your business may be at the brink of disruption. This time competition is no more the known devil ! Apple pay is competition to Bank transactions and Apple is not even in the BFSI vertical. The current marketplace dynamics are possibly the best time to reevaluate your strengths and assess your gap areas. The best feedback comes from the customer. If you are too internal driven even if you have the best product / service / solution it may not guarantee success. Earlier we would sell and then deliver value to our clients in the execution / usage of the product / service / solution today the customer wants the value upfront, even before they decide to make the decision to buy.
“Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” Go on then bring the customer to the core of your strategy and ask yourself how you made them feel. Invest in developing human intelligence around your strengths so you are able to leverage these in the face of new disruptions.
Remember – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…