Look at how technology is affecting your customers in your industry right now. But don’t just look at productivity. Look at the overall customer experience as well as who is buying your offerings. For example, in the late 1970s, when ultra light aviation was born, the first ultra light aircrafts were basically hang-gliders with engines. The FAA decided, due to the size and weight of the plane, people didn’t need a pilot’s license to fly an ultra light aircraft. As a result, the first ultra light manufacturers targeted that demographic – people who wanted to fly but who didn’t have the time or money to get a pilot’s license. One company, UltraSports, thought they could attract a better customer, so they asked, “Why not redefine the product, the customer, and the market?”
Rather than target those who wanted to fly but didn’t have a license or the income to afford buying an aircraft, UltraSports decided to target commercial jet pilots and flight instructors for their ultra light aircrafts. After all, these pilots were the best pilots, they loved to fly and they had money. Then UltraSports went one step further and redefined the ultra light aircraft itself by adding a stick and rudder and instrument controls. They made the ultra light fly like an airplane rather than a hang-glider, which better appealed to their new target market. UltraSports went on to become a national leader in their first year, all because they redefined who their customer was and then made product changes accordingly.
When it comes to your customers, ask yourself:
- Is there a better customer? For example, maybe you’re selling to a customer who can only afford low-margin products and services.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Is there a customer you don’t have but should have?
- Could you redefine your product and attract that customer?
- Is there a way to use technology to enhance your product or service in some way that opens up a market or creates a new market for you?