The new customers

by Evan Davies, Chief Executive - QLD, VIC & NZ | |   Growing Your Business
The New Customers

In a recent CEO Institute Syndicate meeting, a guest speaker spoke of the need to understand the needs and wants of the 'entrepreneurial consumer' to aid businesses to innovate and grow.

We are all aware that the digital revolution has completely transformed the way consumers are interacting with brands and a lot of businesses are struggling to catch up. The proposition was put that the gap between consumers and brand experience is wide. The key for closing the gap is constant innovation. It was suggested that the lifespan of a business decreases if innovation is not a top strategic priority. A couple of months ago, KPMG's 'Global CEO Report' stated that fostering innovation was one of the top strategic priorities for CEOs over the next three years. More than 75% of CEOs surveyed believed it was important to specifically include innovation in the business strategy, with clear targets and objectives.

However, innovation as a catch cry phrase versus being a business priority are two completely different things. Implementation can often be a difficult step. Our speaker’s advice was that the starting point was with understanding the new and emerging consumer - the ‘entrepreneurial consumer’. Then build innovations around them.

What do they look like?

They are emerging from two main demographics - mums and Millennials (folk reaching young adulthood around the year 2000). Inconsistent? Well, not really as they believe:

  • they’re always time poor and love brands and companies that help them get this time back
  • they believe in the ‘new and shiny’ and seek regular inspiration
  • they believe and adopt new technology quickly to make life easier
  • they are community minded and seek advice
  • they believe they never have to pay ‘over the odds’; negotiation of a deal is a part of their dialogue with business

To get them as customers you need to understand what their beliefs mean to your business. The first step is to fully understand what makes them tick. What are their drivers, expectations and gaps in their lives? What are the points of friction with your products or services?

Those enterprises getting to these emerging consumers via innovation are addressing:

  • to overcome moments of friction between the customer and the experience with the product
  • to analyse the brand experience to find ways to make their interactions easier
  • to personalise the experience of doing business - a thank you for being my customer
  • to find ways of operating in real time; the immediacy of the digital landscape means people’s expectations on time are changing. Resolving customer issues and answering questions quickly impacts on their perception of you and the offering.

Business needs to prepare for the ‘entrepreneurial consumer’. They’re arising as a direct result of digital transformation. The behaviours and beliefs of these folk means that CEOs need to consider them and innovation around the offering experience.

The CEO Institute was founded in 1992. It is now Australia's leading membership organisation for CEOs and senior executives. It provides a forum for over 1,000 Chief Executive members to connect and share their learning with each other. In 2011, The CEO Institute became the world’s first global certification body for CEOs, and in 2013, partnered with UNESCO in support of the "Malala Fund for Girls' Right to Education". In 2014, they began offering their programs globally.
The CEO Syndicate is an exclusive peer support network for CEOs. The first meeting of The CEO Syndicate program was held in Melbourne in June 1992. Offices were opened in Adelaide in 1996 and Sydney and Brisbane in 1997, with Perth launching in 2007. In 2015, the New Zealand office opened.
The Future CEO program is a certification course designed by the business leaders of today for the business leaders of tomorrow. The first Future CEO meeting was held in Melbourne in May 2012. In 2014, the "Future CEO Scholarship Fund for Women" was established, and continues to be offered today.

Membership of The CEO Institute is by invitation only. To register your interest, click enquire.





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