It's 2011, do you know who your customers really are?

Happy New Year.  There is something truly exciting and profound about the start of a new year.  A sense of new found energy to channel emotional, creative and ethical intelligence….our sense of bigger purpose, causes and beliefs.  Like it or not, recent economic changes have had strong effect on all cultures and businesses.  This is a great time to ask your team, “where are the gaps in your current strategy and delivery systems in this New World Marketplace?”

I am starting my 2011 blog series with “New World Strategies” to help you and your team examine your strategy in terms of what your brand offers and how to align values with the New world customers.

Let’s first start with text book definition of “Strategy”:  Which customers, which needs and at what relative price.  It’s not about competing to be the“best”, it’s about being “different”.   It’s just as much about what-not-to-do, as it is about what-to-do.  A combination of benefits and trade-offs your brand offers.  A mutually profitable value proposition between you and your customers, that differentiates you from all other alternatives and competitors.

How is the “New World Strategy” any different?  Think about how “which customers” and “which needs” are constantly changing.  Women are now majority of the work force…for every 2 men that get a college degree, 3 women do the same….1/3 of US population is non-white….1 out of 3 kids being born in the US will have a parent who is an immigrant….If you haven’t read my blog on “What is the New World Marketplace”, click and read now.  There is shocking statistics.  Today, it is all about organizations and leaders embracing the velocity of this transformation to achieve future profitability.

Critical demographic and cultural shifts are changing the faces and needs of the New World customers.  The way your brand’s shifts and changes your customers experiences and lives, versus the alternatives and competitors, will define your success.  Examine your current strategy.  This means a new mindset of becoming your own future rival and forsaking your past prejudices and orthodoxies that exist in most organizations today.  Think about understanding what is changing in the New World Marketplace and why ~ within emotional and cultural frameworks ~ not our traditional rational frameworks…. features, facts and figures do not define behavior.  It’s really a lot more fluid than that.

Cultural and emotional frameworks are critical touchstones for future profitability.  People don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.  Most organizations know what and how to sell, but do they know why?  This means aligning your values with those of your New World customers, believing in what they believe ~ and vice versa.  Today’s shared reality is far more authentic and intuitive than ever before. We’ve got an exciting, yet evolving year ahead.  I’ll be sharing new data points and case studies throughout the year.  If you are seeing micro or macro trends in your business that you would like to discuss, I’d love to hear from you.

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