Thursday, 18 December 2008

Killing confusion, connecting with customers

It's not unusual to find businesses whose customers are confused about their products.  Often, the business' salespeople (and others) are only a little more on top of things.  They can talk about individual products, but not in ways that connect with the customer, and not so that the entire portfolio they're presenting makes much sense.  If the salespeople can't articulate it, it's hardly surprising that the customers are confused.

I've found that things are different with businesses whose customers understand and want what they're being offered.  The best of these businesses talk relentlessly about business value first and about product and service superiority second.  They capture that value in propositions that exhibit 4 'C's:
  • Clear - simple and easy to understand
  • Coherent - their portfolio hangs together and makes perfect sense as a whole
  • Consistent - their people all tell the same story, regardless of context and medium
  • Compelling - they describe 'must have' business value and benefits
It's usually relatively straightforward to create the story that underpins 4Cs propositions for a business.  The challenge (as always) lies in adoption and execution.  That can be time-consuming and tough.  It's worth it though - don't we all prefer being customers of 4C businesses?  Aren't we more likely to buy earlier and longer?

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