Do You Have To Be a Detective To Understand What Customers Want?

White Com[anyDo you recognize these story titles:

‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band.’

‘The Red-Headed League.’

‘The Adventure of the Dancing Men.’

How about this address … 221B Baker Street, London. Seem familiar?

You guessed right if you said they’re Sherlock Holmes stories and Baker Street is his address.

The famous detective and Dr. Watson first appeared in print in 1887.

Their adventures extend to 56 stories and four novels.

But the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was irked by Holmes’ popularity.

In his mind, another of his works, The White Company, was more deserving.

He viewed his novel about knights in the 14th century as the pinnacle of his success.

It details chivalric deeds, political turmoil and heroic battles in England, France and Spain, as well as the Crusades in the Holy Land.

It’s packed with historical appeal and adventure.

Conan Doyle wanted to be known for The White Company, not Holmes.

But as you well know, the public had other ideas.

You might say this is a reminder for business.

A reminder that customers stake out the boundaries of your brand.

Their opinion of your company is what counts.

So why do marketers often miss the mark on this?

Are they’re so wrapped up in their product or service they overlook customers’ views?

That question pops up in conferences these days.

It’s said many marketers aren’t awake to customers’ needs and desires.

They’re not always attuned to customer pain points. And with that, they don’t recognize golden opportunities when they come along.

But a customer-service strategy that’s inventive and differentiating can change all that.

It makes you better able to compete.

It gives you an advantage with established markets as well as emerging ones.

It helps you counter tired, old companies that have suddenly regenerated themselves by cutting costs, shedding unprofitable divisions and emerging with the technology and leadership to win.

It helps you deal with start-ups and others that have re-written the book on agility and added value for customers.

It supports you against overseas companies that have come to America with fresh ideas on how to capture market share or create new markets.

It reinforces your position in industry shakeouts.

Marketers who value their judgment more than their customers’ judgment risk difficulties for their brand.

Especially when it comes to being seen as open, approachable and responsive.

There’s a predicament for you.

Incidentally … if a company can’t respond to their own customers what hope do they have of attracting customers of the competition?

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to understand the impact of that.


Share with us. Leave your comment below. Thanks for reading Regards, Steve Ulin LinkedIn:



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